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Just Passed Your Driving Test? Driving Safety Tips for New Road Users

Updated on September 6, 2011

It was not that long ago when I passed my driving test. I was totally thrilled, as coming from a busy bustling city with too many cars, the passing rate for driving tests is not high. I was eager to finally be able to drive myself around. However, that enthusiasm was quickly dampened when I realized that navigating the roads in a huge city full of cars was really tricky.

There were a few lessons that I learned about staying safe as a new road user.

- Practice defensive driving

One of the most important things to remember while driving is that safety is of utmost important. A wrong move on the road can result in a fatal consequence. Practicing defensive driving assumes that other drivers might not be as careful and vigilant as they ought to be, and as a new driver, this will cause you to think twice should you be tempted to make a rash or unsafe move.

- Drive with someone until you are confident on the road

I find this to be very useful advice, especially for new road users. Driving with someone who is a safe driver will help you ease into this new experience. Don't choose someone who is high strung to drive with you, as that will only increase your tension (both you and that person) when you drive - which is really unhealthy and dangerous too, especially if you haven't developed the reflexes to react quickly.

Having someone with you is almost like having a live GPS system talking you through and taking you through unfamiliar routes. If you are not that confident on the road, having someone around can be very reassuring, especially if you are in a huge congested city where changing lanes and filtering can be quite daunting.

Also, when you taking driving lessons, you might not always learn the little details such as turning on the windscreen wipers, turning on the headlights.... having someone beside you so that you do not fumble will be helpful. The last thing you want is to meet with a sudden downpour while on the freeway and be left in panic because you are unable to adjust the windscreen wipers efficiently.

- Plan your routes ahead of time

Planning your route ahead of time can prevent unnecessary anxiety especially if you are driving in unfamiliar territory. Sometimes, the GPS cannot always be trusted as it might lead you to a dead end, and making sure you know your way will boost your confidence as you learn which lane you should stay on, or what landmarks to look out for. In places where the cars are everywhere, this can save you precious fuel and time making U-turns.

- Keep practicing and never give up

If you are terrible at parallel parking, keep practicing in a safe place (where you will not be a road hazard). Soon you will become a natural at it. One I first started driving, I could barely carry on a conversation as I was totally glued and focused on the road. With some practice, it got better and now I do enjoy driving around.

- Be sensible

  • don't be distracted by your cell phone
  • stick to the speed limit
  • don't ever indulge in road rage, or be rude to other drivers
  • don't drink and drive
  • don't rush about - it is definitely dangerous

Do you have other driving safety tips for beginners? Leave them in the comments!

Defensive Driving


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