The journey to becoming an efficient, successful driver materializes over time. First off, learning how to drive is challenging. You must pass the tests, and you must practice driving before becoming an effective driver. By being aware of this list of mistakes that newly licensed drivers make, you will be better prepared for them and avoid them, too. Let’s dive in.
1. Not Wearing A Seatbelt
Refraining from wearing a seatbelt is a mistake that can be costly and even fatal. You’re automatically increasing your risk of getting a catastrophic injury when you forget to put on your seatbelt. In the event of an accident, you’re likely to suffer head and neck injuries and spinal and internal organ damage.
Accidents stress your loved ones who have to care for you when you’re recovering from injuries. You’ll also be penalized if caught driving without your seatbelt, as this is part of the law. Another consequence of this violation is that you risk having your license suspended or revoked.
Your woes will worsen as the list of mistakes associated with your accident will cost you insurance claims. If, in the process of filing for claims, the agents find that you were not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the accident, the seatbelt will serve as a defense against you. It could reduce the amount you were to get paid.
Legal issues can take much time to follow up and settle, making it harder to get a settlement for your claim. Healing from severe injuries due to not having your seatbelt on can be another harrowing experience. The doctor may treat you, give reconstructive surgeries, and offer therapy to aid in your healing, but eventually, it is you who will deal with the aftermath of these injuries for many days to come.
New drivers take a while to get used to the different speed levels. That’s why overspeeding is on the list of mistakes common among this group. At times, they think they’re moving at the required speed.
It only dawns on them when a cop pulls them over for overspeeding. For this offense, the driver gets served with a ticket. However, there are much more serious consequences as it increases your chances of finding yourself in emergency rooms getting treated for severe injuries.
Always aim to stay within the speed limit. You want to avoid getting a speeding ticket too early in your driving. So always keep your eye on your speedometer. A good driving instructor will show you how to balance your speeds appropriately and for different situations.
3. Fender Benders
A fender bender results from your car rear-ending another car. These accidents are on the list of mistakes many drivers commit out of negligence. Some fender benders occur when one of the cars is at low speed, mostly the one in front, and the other comes at high speed.
Although the damage done to your car could be minimal, passengers and the driver may potentially get severe injuries. When a new driver doesn’t see another vehicle while reversing, such an accident will likely occur. When driving at higher speeds than the rest of the cars, you’re also likely to commit this accident.
Injuries may not be apparent immediately, but they may be severe. Issues such as spinal injuries, brain damage, and internal organ damage are sometimes associated with fender benders, so it’s always good practice to get yourself and your passengers checked. Do this even before looking for lawyers to handle the legal aspects. Other common causes of this accident are distracted driving or being behind the wheel when tired.
Avoid using your phone while driving. Ensure you’re fresh and well-rested before starting a journey, as exhaustion leads to poor judgment. There are other potential causes, such as mechanical failure or poor weather conditions, leading to risky situations on the road.
4. Forgetting to Change Oil
Oil helps lubricate and protect the vehicle’s moving parts. When you neglect to change your oil, you add to the list of mistakes that can lead to poor car performance. Regular oil changes are an economical way to ensure your vehicle performs at its peak throughout.
Hire a diesel engine mechanic to service your car’s engine before the vehicle starts developing problems. When the oil is changed, even the filter is changed. A clogged filter means the grime trapped in the filter will return to the engine, causing damage.
With dirty oil in the car’s engine, it must keep working harder, so it will consume more gas. Clean oil helps keep the car engine clean. When not changed for a long time, the motor oil turns into sludge and does not draw heat from the machine.
What happens next is that the engine will overheat and can blow up the gasket. When the lubricating qualities of oil are low, the metal starts to grind upon metal, leading to an engine seize. At this point, you’ll have to buy a new machine to replace the spoilt one. You can avoid such costs by regularly changing the oil of your car’s engine.
5. Not Rotating Tires
One problem in the list of mistakes that will cost you a smooth driving experience is forgetting to rotate the tires. Tire treads can wear down unevenly without regular rotation, leading to a rough, unstable driving surface. Such an anomaly will expose you to the risk of heat buildup, poor traction on snow and ice, and risk of more punctures and blowouts.
Tires are designed to withstand heat. However, when there is no space for cooling the airflow created by treads, the temperatures can escalate to unsafe levels. You could find yourself in a situation where you call for help from roadside services after your tire has experienced a blowout. Broader, deeper, and sharper, irregular treads improve your driving conditions on snow surfaces. The tire should have a firm grip on the surface of the road, and this is only possible when the tire has adequate depth of tread.
6. Leaving Doors Unlocked
Leaving your car doors unlocked joins a list of mistakes that can cost you valuables and further penalties. Seek the advice of law firm consultants about the laws you must adhere to concerning locking your car. Whether your vehicle is parked on your driveway or in the garage, ensure it’s locked.
Once you’ve closed it and confirmed it’s safely locked, carry the car key or the fob. Do not hide it near your vehicle, as it will be an easy bait for car thieves. When you’ve started the vehicle engine, please don’t leave it running unattended.
When choosing a parking spot, go for well-lit areas in public places. As you get out, fully close all the windows, and don’t leave any valuables inside the vehicle. When returning to your car after your errands, spot any changes on your vehicle that may indicate intrusion after you leave it.
Look around you and observe any sinister people who may be a security risk to you as you open your car. Your garage should be lockable, and as much as possible, ensure your driveway and the outdoors are well-lit. To provide enhanced safety, install a GPS and an antitheft device in your car.
7. Driving Without Insurance
Driving without car insurance is a risk among the list of mistakes that can cost you heavily. You must show your financial responsibility to handle damages and liabilities during auto accidents to go legally. Auto insurance remains the proof that you can cater to these financial eventualities.
Driving without insurance is, therefore, an offense. You are liable to face legal penalties when caught. Such penalties include paying for damages covering medical bills of the injured.
Depending on the charges against you, you will likely lose your driving license. Also, depending on your state, you can be charged in court as an uninsured motorist. It may not seem like much, but it’ll have more implications for you.
In some states, the law enforcement office can impound your car if you’re driving without car insurance. You’ll then have to pay for towing fees. You will also incur other costs, and you must pay for all before you can have your car back. Research a reputable car insurance company to get insurance from so you’re on the safe side of the law.
8. Leaving Valuables in the Vehicle
Many people tend to make their cars an extension of their homes. They want to feel comfortable and safe while inside the vehicle. However, this joins the list of mistakes new drivers often make as it ends up with them leaving some belongings inside the car, assuming it is secure.
Avoid leaving valuables like your camera, laptop, and phone in the car. Thieves can easily spot them, and they’ll do anything to get to them, even damaging your car. Valuables left in plain sight can even attract a regular person desperate enough to try their luck.
If you must leave valuables, lock them in a compartment. However, it’s safer to carry your valuables with you. Budget for window tinting to help reduce chances of a car burglary. It may not protect your car, but it’ll certainly give crooks a hard time.
9. Driving Distracted
Distracted driving joins the list of mistakes that result in accidents that are otherwise avoidable. Habits such as using your phone while driving, texting while behind the wheel, eating, drinking, and engaging with your passengers while still going are all risky. Some drivers will fidget with the car radio from time to time, while others linger too long on the navigation system. Anything that diverts your attention from the main task of driving is a potential cause of car accidents. You must focus all your attention on the road to be safe.
When your mind is taken away from its present task, even for a few seconds, things can turn ugly quickly. As a driver, before you start your journey, ensure you minimize any expected distractions. Give some ground rules for children and other passengers, and put your phone on airplane mode. It would help if you also made it a habit to ensure your auto insurance is always up to date.
10. Drunk Driving
Drunk driving is also called impaired driving or driving under the influence. You’re intoxicated when your blood alcohol content is 0.08% or greater, according to transportation.gov. Operating a motor vehicle while drunk is among a list of mistakes that have catastrophic effects for both drivers and other road users.
The emotional burden of having killed other road users due to your drunk driving can take an emotional toll on your life. Your body will also suffer, as impaired driving can lead to accidents that leave you paralyzed, disfigured, or with brain damage. It can also lead to death.
Government data indicates that more than 10,000 people died as a result of alcohol-impaired driving in 2012. If you survive such an accident, you will pay hefty penalties and lose your driver’s license. The insurance costs to cover your car increase due to the risk you pose as a driver.
If you are struggling with alcohol, start investing in sober living programs. You may want to try a detox or check yourself into a rehab facility. But first, you must commit yourself daily that you will keep away from intoxicating substances. It would be best if you also changed your attitudes and your bad habits, replacing them with practical, beneficial behaviors.
It will take years of consistent driving practice, combined with continually improving your skills, to get more effective on the road. As a new driver, avoid habits such as tailgating. Always keep a safe braking distance so you don’t end up causing an avoidable fender bender.
Suppose you’re tired while at the wheel. Your vision will not be at its best. It would be safer to pull over and take a short power nap. Avoid being too aggressive on your accelerator and your brakes.
You want to make braking smoother, as this will also impact the wear and tear of your vehicle. A car is a handy machine. How you engage with it can make your errands and other drives a worthwhile experience.