Common Mistakes By First-Time Drivers And How To Avoid Them

By John Lendrum - July 21st, 2021 | Posted in Article, DRIVING

Common Mistakes By First-Time Drivers And How To Avoid Them

 Being a first-time driver is fraught with challenges. If you were graded for it, you most certainly won’t get a perfect 10. Moreover, there are times these driving weaknesses can lead to accidents. 

Below are the common mistakes newbie drivers make along with ways to avoid these:


For many young drivers, the first time they get on the road alone can be quite a thrill. It’s natural for somebody experiencing a little thrill to get their adrenaline pumping and start taking some unnecessary risks. Unfortunately, speeding greatly increases the risk and the severity of accidents.

How to fix it:

You don’t want to get into an accident the first time you drive alone, do you? Understand the risk associated with speeding. It can be tempting to get a little thrill, but maybe try to do it where you aren’t literally risking life and death.

Driving Tired

We’ve all seen the endless commercials warning against the dangers of driving without a seatbelt or driving under the influence of drugs. It’s a common trope in both movies and television series, especially in those coming-of-age adolescent shows. In our modern society, the dangers of drunk driving or driving with your seatbelt off are so ingrained into our minds as terrible things to do before we are even of age to get a learner’s permit. Driving while you are tired, however, is rarely, if at all, mentioned. The unfortunate result is that many first-time drivers, and really drivers of all differing levels of experience, don’t realize how much driving without enough sleep can impair your performance behind the wheel. An estimated 1,550 deaths and 100,000 accidents are caused by drowsy driving every year.

How to fix it:

Understand the dangers of driving without enough sleep. Don’t drive late at night if you feel sleepy. Try to plan your evening so that you know you can get to wherever you’re staying for the night a few hours before your normal bed time. Also, set an early enough bed time so that you’re able to get a good night’s sleep before you have to get up the next morning.

Not Keeping Enough Distance in Inclement Weather

No matter where you live in the world, you’ll have to learn how to alter your driving habits in inclement weather. It’s very common for many young drivers to underestimate how wet or snowy road conditions can impact your ability to quickly stop. 

common mistakes 1

How to fix it:

Remember the two second rule? Double it so that the space between you and the vehicle in front is double if you’re driving in rainy conditions. If you’re driving on icy conditions, you should adjust your speed so that the distance between you and the car in front is considerably longer than what it normally should be. It’s very important that you keep a large distance so that you don’t have to break hard in icy conditions as this can result in your car spinning out.


Too Many People in the Car

Getting your license and finally having the freedom to operate a vehicle on your own can be a pretty exciting time for new young drivers. Naturally, people like to celebrate with their friends and family. Having too many people in the car leads to more distractions and more opportunities for a first-time driver to make a mistake.

How to fix it:

Be cognizant of the fact that your odds of getting into an accident go up the more people you have in a car. It’s best to avoid regularly driving your car full of friends when you first start driving, though, we all know that it’s going to happen sometimes. The key is to remember how this can impact your driving, focus extra hard on the road, and ignore your friends until you get to the destination.

Not Taking the Right of Way

Many first-time drivers will be understandably nervous. Unfortunately, this can lead to some passive decision-making. It’s not uncommon to come across people who stop when they have the right of way to let somebody turn out of the parking lot or wait for one of the other three drivers to go first at a four-way stop sign. This is often done because a young driver doesn’t want to make other drivers angry. It’s important to understand that defensive driving doesn’t mean passive driving. As a matter of fact, oftentimes, first-time drivers’ passive decisions actually make the road less safe for other drivers. Every other driver on the road is expecting you to go when you have the right of way. When you don’t follow the rules, you’re putting them in danger as now they may have to stop unexpectedly behind you when you should have kept driving.

How to fix it: 

Understand the traffic lights and signs and who has the right of way, then follow those rules appropriately. Attending an Arizona Driving School is a great way to ensure you learn the correct right of way rules.

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