10 essential Vauxhall tips for new, young or inexperienced drivers 0
A Vauxhall makes an ideal first car for a young, inexperienced or learner driver. Easy driveability and excellent road safety features make for a comfortable introduction to the road. Despite this, the statistics show that one in five drivers will be involved in a crash during their first year of driving. When driving a Vauxhall, every possible precaution has been taken to ensure the passengers are protected by a resilient vehicle, but for new drivers taking to the roads, there are a few tips we’ve compiled that can help make things a bit easier.
Don’t stop training just because you’ve passed. When you’re learning to drive, it’s common for the instructor to ease you in gently, by taking you out in the easiest possible conditions. Back streets and good weather are fine environments to learn the ropes, once you’ve passed your test however, you can bet on encountering trickier conditions. It’s recommended that young drivers follow up their basic training by participating in the Pass Plus scheme which teaches the driver how to negotiate more challenging situations such as busy roads, bad weather, and night driving. Completing Pass Plus will make you a better driver far more quickly and possibly you’ll see your insurance premium fall as a result.
Familiarise yourself with your car. You’ve got yourself a nice shiny new Vauxhall. Don’t just get in and drive off. Take some time to just sit in it and accustom yourself with the instruments, the buttons, the lights, the warning indicators. How do you activate the hazards? How do you turn off the irritating traffic news bulletins? Knowing EXACTLY where everything is located could be the difference between life and death if you’re unlucky enough to be involved in an accident.
Get on your bike! Cycling on roads gives you the best, most firsthand experience of the roads. It also demonstrates how badly some other road users drive – both cyclists and drivers. This experience will make you more aware when it comes to predicting the movements of bad drivers.
Take to the track. Speeding isn’t a good idea. So, if you’ve a desire to burn some rubber, why not take your motor out for a spin on a track day? Not only is it a lot of fun, it also gives you a good idea of how your vehicle handles on the limit. You’ll also be developing your driving skills in a safe environment.
Always check your blind spot. Whilst your mirrors do an excellent job showing you what’s behind you, they can’t reveal what’s hidden just outside your peripheral vision. Your blind spot is actually a lot larger than some people realise, certainly big enough for a car or motorbike to hide in. Check it every time you change lane or turn right.
Stay out of other driver’s blind spots. Not everyone will be paying attention to the previous tip even if you are. The amount of drivers that change lane without checking is frightening. With that in mind, do what you can to stay out of this area whilst in traffic. Accelerate to pull alongside or in front of them or slow down until they can see you in their mirrors.
Stay left on the motorway. Very few people adhere to this but the left lane of the motorway is for normal driving. The Highway Code rule 238 states: “You should drive in the left-hand lane if the road ahead is clear. Return to the left-hand lane once you have overtaken all the vehicles or if you are delaying traffic behind you.” Many of us will have no qualms about doing a steady 70mph in the middle or right hand lanes but the fact is, it’s against the law. Police have been given new powers including on-the-spot fines to take action against violators.
Get out in the rain. The best way to become accustomed to driving in difficult conditions is to get out there when the weather takes a turn for the worst, and see what it feels like to drive in. Many aspects of driving change drastically under unfavourable conditions, most noticeably braking distances. Taking yourself out for a gentle spin when it starts to rain will help you gain experience on your own terms. Subsequently, you’ll feel more comfortable when similar conditions present themselves unexpectedly.
Get off the phone. Using a handheld is illegal. Putting it on hands-free and holding in just in front of your mouth isn’t allowed either. Even using a hands-free car kit isn’t infallible. The mental workload required to have a conversation whilst having to process additional thoughts can slow reaction times.
Let your mates walk. A recent study by MP’s implied that inexperienced drivers should be banned from carrying passengers aged between 10 and 20 late at night. This may sound extreme but there’s logic to the idea. Young drivers often feel the urge to show off in front of their mates and take unnecessary risks. If you’re carrying friends as passengers, make sure your driving isn’t effected by their presence.
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