Defensive Driving Tips For New Drivers
Whether you’re new to the country or have just turned age 16, learning how to drive is an important skill to have. Learning some defensive driving skills can help you stay safe, and keep other drivers safe on the road. Here are a few defensive driving tips for new drivers:
1. Don’t use your cell phone while driving
For many people this is a no-brainer, but many young drivers are tempted to use their cell phones when driving. It’s important to know that using your cell phone at any point, whether you’re in motion or stopped at a red light, should be avoided at all costs. You should always have all of your attention focused on driving, and if you need to call or text someone, pull off the road completely and take a break.
2. Pay attention to traffic signs
Again, this may seem obvious to experienced drivers, but new drivers and even some experienced drivers don’t always pay close attention to all the traffic signs on the road. Don’t assume that the driver ahead of you knows what they’re doing. Pay close attention to traffic signs, traffic lights and traffic rules for the area in which you’re driving.
3. Keep a safe distance
Many car accidents are caused by drivers following the car in front of them too closely. Even when the roads aren’t slippery and driving conditions are perfect, you should try to maintain a safe distance. You want to be prepared in the event that the car in front of you comes to an abrupt stop so you don’t end up rear-ending someone.
4. Learn weather-appropriate driving skills
Especially in Ontario, one of the best things you can do to avoid an accident and stay safe while driving is to learn specific weather-related driving skills. Snow, wind, rain and ice are all driving hazards that we experience in our climate, so we recommend practicing your driving in each of these weather situations so you’re prepared when the weather changes.
5. Give way
Four-way stops and other potentially vague right of way situations are regular occurrences, so if you’re not sure who has the right of way, always assume it’s the other car. If you both pull into the intersection at the same time, you could find yourself in an accident. Be patient and let the other driver through first.
For more driving tips, be sure to check out our blog for the latest safety and weather-related driving tips.