Getting your driving licence is a key part of becoming independent. No longer reliant on lifts, you can organise your own schedule, stop wherever you want, and play your own choice of music.
Owning a driving licence can also influence what jobs you can apply for – being able to get there on your own four wheels rather than relying on public transport can open up a whole range of wider possibilities, especially for those who live more rurally. Additionally, some jobs may require you to have your own car or drive a company vehicle.
Unfortunately, young drivers are often at risk in those first few months after passing their test, due to a range of factors. So how can you make sure you’re enjoying your freedom whilst staying safe on the way to work? We take a look.
Speeding is a common occurrence in young drivers, and comes with a hefty fine which would make a large dent in your pay packet – not to mention the additional cost of an inflated insurance premium. Whether you’re tempted to speed to impress your passengers, are running late, or simply want to push the limits of your new vehicle, it’s a dangerous game to play, both for your safety and your wallet.
With today’s technology, it’s easy to check the traffic before you leave, and find the best route. Make sure you leave time in the morning for any route changes, and to account for any accidents that happen whilst you’re travelling. It’s better to sit in the car park at the office for 15 minutes rather than rush through the gates with two minutes left on the clock.
Being in a rush as you leave for work might result in you trying to save time by bringing your breakfast or makeup with you, but don’t be tempted to take your hands off the wheel to get your caffeine fix or do your mascara.
The same applies for using your phone. Not only can using a device incur costly penalties, but it’s also a dangerous habit to adopt. Don’t be tempted to reply to your morning notifications on the way to work, and enable the do not disturb function whilst on the road to avoid potential distractions.
Try to leave a buffer in your getting ready time in the morning in case you hit the snooze button instead, to allow you to leave the house ready for the day.
There’s nothing quite like driving with a car full of passengers, windows down and music turned up. However, having others around you can make it difficult to concentrate, and you’re more likely to miss seeing key hazards, or make poor driving decisions. In fact, research has found that conversations with passengers that required a lot of attention were responsible for 67% of drivers feeling distracted from the task at hand.
Especially if you want to make sure you retain your reputation with your co-workers, you might easily find yourself diverting your attention away from the road. However, ultimately, you’re responsible for the people that you bring in your car – they can’t press the brakes if you get too close to another vehicle.
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