Every new driver is inexperienced – it’s a matter of fact. But how do you become a better driver, other than to get behind the wheel and do it? Unfortunately, there are bound to be a few blunders here and there in the learning process. Some are small oopsies, others are big problems. So, whether you’re the parent of a student driver or an adult who owns a car for the first time, expect a few issues. Here are five mistakes new drivers make.
Mistakes New Drivers Make
Stopping at a Merge
There’s one way to guarantee you’ll slow down traffic and earn a few unimpressed honks. That’s to stop on an on-ramp to merge. Merges are meant to keep traffic flowing smoothly but there’s no question they can intimidate new drivers. If you’re a new driver or you’re helping teach someone to drive, practice using merges effectively in light traffic. Then, when they are comfortable, scale up to busy traffic times.
Improper Left Turns
There’s always been a debate about the best way to make left-hand turns. The safest way is to avoid crossing the path of cars who are turning from the opposite direction of traffic. It’s a common mistake new drivers make, but also experienced drivers struggle with it too.
Signaling Too Early
Have you ever followed someone who you thought left their signal light on by accident, only to have them turn a whole city block later? That’s too early. For most turns, the rule of thumb is to signal three flashes before you need to slow down. Try not to signal your turn or lane change too much in advance, otherwise, you’ll confuse other drivers.
Hitting Speed Bumps Too Fast
New drivers don’t always know how a car reacts to bumps on the road. You’ll test that with a speed bump. In a parking lot, speed bumps are meant to help regulate traffic speeds for pedestrian safety primarily. If you aren’t sure how fast to go over a speed bump, do it slower than you think it should be.
Failing to Shoulder Check
Countless accidents happen because new drivers haven’t learned to shoulder check. It’s important to observe traffic in your mirrors, but there are blind spots on both sides where you can’t see cars around you. Only a shoulder check will expose them. Whenever you change lanes, shoulder check first.