Five Things You Need To Know When You First Start Driving

When you first start driving, there are lots of things that you need to be aware of to make sure that you stay on the road (literally and figuratively), and can cope with any difficulties that you may face. While driving can be one of the best things that you can possibly do (minus being in the lineup for the designated driver on nights out) there are certainly some daunting aspects of it. Whether you've just passed your car driving test or are driving a moped or motorbike, here are a few things to bear in mind!

Get yourself a sat nav
Getting lost can be stressful, even for experienced drivers. One of the best things you can do as a new driver is get yourself a sat nav, no matter where you need to get you have step by step instructions. You can get in the correct lane early on, and generally avoid a lot of fluster and panic. There are tons of varieties at different price points that car drivers can utilise, but you can find them for motorbikes too. These are hands free and voice activated making them safe to use. No worries about getting lost, and you can just focus on your driving rather than having to panic about directions. 

Be prepared for your vehicle to go wrong
Hopefully the vehicle you buy will be reliable, but as with any machine, things can and do go wrong. Regular services and properly maintaining your car or motorbike will help with this, but sometimes things can go wrong unexpectedly. It's useful to know where to get parts from, and where the cheapest place for repairs is. You can purchase cheap second-hand parts from breakers yards like, it's also a good idea to find out about local garages from friends, relatives, and online sites. Have some money put away in a savings account for these kinds of situations, so if your car or motorbike does go wrong, you can quickly get it sorted and get back on the roads. 

Be prepared for a breakdown
If your vehicle does start to fail, it doesn't necessarily mean you'll break down. Often, warning lights will come on the dash or you'll get other signs first so you can get to a garage asap. However, in some cases a full breakdown can occur. Be sure to sign up to a breakdown company, it can give you such peace of mind. Put a few things in your car or in your motorbike seat compartment, such as a torch and some food and drink in case you have to wait a while for somebody to come and rescue you in your time of need. You don't need to pack by post-apocalyptic levels, but even a blanket could change your life if anything happens in those winter months. Make sure you're doing basic checks such as fluids and lights, regularly check your car or motorcycle tyres as these are one of the most important things when it comes to safety. They're you're vehicles only contact with the road, so need to have the correct pressure and tread to do their job properly.

Know that other drivers can be difficult
It might be your own skills you're worried about when you first get onto the roads, many times the risk will usually comes from those who have been driving for a while. As a new driver you'll be on high alert, and (hopefully) sticking to the rules and practices you were taught. However, after a while people get lax and think that they can drive, text, brush their teeth, write a haiku etc. all whilst paying attention to the road. While you can’t really do anything to stop other people from doing this, you can look out for any suspicious behaviour (people who can’t stay in their lanes…) and you can keep your distance if it looks like it will get out of hand. Be smart, and keep an eye on others.

Everything will be OK
Honestly, it isn’t all bad. Driving can be daunting and there are things that you should be prepared for (even if they’re unlikely) or you’ll be kicking yourself later. Ultimately, though, you passed your test because you’re good at driving, so don’t get yourself too worked up about any of these things. Practice really does make perfect, start by going out at less busy times of day and build up your confidence. You'll be a pro before you know it. 

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