Learning to drive can be a nerve-wracking experience. It may seem like you’re never going to learn everything you need to know, but with time it will become easier to manage and you’ll be able to enjoy the freedom that driving brings. With that freedom your licence brings you also have a responsibility to keep yourself and those around you safe. You can’t control others on the road, but by staying vigilant you can ensure that you’re doing your bit to keep Essex safe.
Busy Town Centres
City driving, especially around busy town centres can be somewhat of a sensory overload of sights, sounds, hustle and bustle. Stay calm, stay within speed limits (no matter how much road-rage this induces in local wannabe-racers) and keep an eye out for jaywalkers, excited dogs, children, and blind spots. Always be prepared to react in case someone pulls out from some hidden alleyway, and you’ll get the hang of it in no-time.
Whilst they may be one of the most daunting things to a new driver, as long as you follow the markings and signage roundabouts can be simple, no matter the size. The main difference you’ll need to get used to is simply the number of other drivers. Know that while you need to indicate to ensure the safety of yourself and those around you, some may seem not to have gotten the memo. Keep one eye open to the occasional last-minute lane-switcher and you can face roundabouts without fear.
Driving at Night
It has been stated that accidents involving younger drivers peak between 18:00 and midnight. While you can’t always avoid night drives, you can make sure that you are doing everything in your power to drive safely. Reduce distractions in your car such as blaring noises, make sure you know how your car’s lights work, and especially in the town centres and at weekends be prepared for unpredictable pedestrians who have had a few too many.
Some people love city driving, some love the country, but each presents its own set of challenges. Country roads can be winding, high banked and often times thin. Practice your reversing skills in advance and you’ll save a lot of stress next time you’re hunting for a passing point. Also be aware of farm vehicles who may have differing blind spots. A final treat down country roads are horses, The British Horse Society’s ‘Dead Slow’ campaign gives the advice to give horses plenty of room and to slow down to 15mph to avoid risk to driver, rider and horse.
The Fatal Four
Four behaviours are just as important for drivers in Essex as in any other place in the country. The ‘Fatal Four’ are described as speeding, drinking (or using drugs), using a mobile phone or not wearing a seatbelt. These four are the main causes of death or serious injury on our roads. They are simple behaviours but can have the biggest impact on your life and the lives of those around you.