Once you have passed your test you will be driving on your own. This can feel a little strange at first, so take it easy while you gain experience. Here are a few tips for you to consider…
CHECK YOUR CAR INSURANCE
If you own your own car, and have been driving it before passing your test – you will now have to tell your insurer that you have passed your driving test. If you don’t your insurance might be invalid, so check before you drive your car on your own!
Always wear your seat belt, and refuse to move the car until all your passengers have buckled up.
Speeding is the biggest cause of accidents among new drivers. Remember, the faster you’re driving, the longer it takes to stop. The faster you are driving when you hit something, the greater the impact and the greater the damage done. Remember if you get 6 points on your license within 2 years you can look forward to taking another theory and driving test.
Adjust your driving speed for weather conditions. If it's icy, snowing, raining or foggy, you may need to drive below the speed limit to be safe, or postpone your travel until the weather conditions get better. Also consider having sunglasses available for bright sunshine as your eyes will get very tired without them.
Be especially careful driving at night while you are gaining the experience and confidence to deal with all the extra challenges that driving in the dark presents.
Don't multitask when you are driving. Don't eat or drink and drive at the same time. Don't talk or text on your mobile phone while driving. If your phone rings, don't answer it until you can safely pull over and stop the car.
GET SET UP BEFORE YOU START
Adjust all accessories before you pull out into traffic. This includes the mirrors, seat, and stereo. Secure loose objects in the vehicle - if you have to make an emergency stop you don't want you or a passenger to get hit in the head with a hockey stick, backpack, etc.
ARE YOU FIT TO DRIVE?
Don't drive if you are sleepy or angry - you put the car, yourself and any passengers at risk. I’m sure you don’t need warning about drink or drugs…. Stay calm, stay cool, always drive with care – remember you’re in charge of a ton of metal that could be lethal when out of control.
Be prepared for anything when driving alone. This includes taking your mobile phone with you, and always letting someone know where you are going and what time you will be home. Take enough money for emergencies, and never pick up hitchhikers. Do you know how to change a wheel or what to do in an accident? Please print the ‘Emergency Advice Kit‘ below and keep in your car just in case!
IS YOUR CAR SAFE?
Get to know your car. Get in the habit of checking the tyre pressures, engine oil level, windscreen washer fluid and learn how to top them up. Make sure all your lights are working before you drive off, and keep the windows, mirrors and headlights clean. Get to know your local garage and get an understanding for the regular servicing your car needs to be safe and reliable.
CONSIDER A PASS PLUS COURSE
This is an additional course that aims to give you more driving experience, to help you deal with many of the new hazards you will be facing on the road. The course takes six hours (these can be spread over several lessons) and covers the following modules; motorway driving, dual carriageways, town driving, rural roads, all weather and night time driving. There is no test, and on completion you are issued with a certificate that can give you up to 30% discount with participating insurers- this might even save you the cost of the course!