Tips for Young/Inexperienced Drivers: Be Safe This Youth Day
Learning how to drive and getting your licence are two of the most exciting things of becoming an adult. It’s the first step towards more freedom and control over where you go and how you get there. It’s also often nerve-wracking. Instead of driving up and down your block to get the hang of it, you start sharing big roads with dozens of drivers. Some of these drivers might be as inexperienced as you! That’s why it’s so important to get into great driving habits from the very start. Here are 5 tips for new drivers that you’ll remember for life.
Don’t Drive Intoxicated
Drunk driving is something you most definitely will encounter at some point in your driving career. Your friends and family might believe that driving after having a few drinks is perfectly fine, but you should make the active decision to never drive when you or your driver is over the limit. Not only are you putting your own life at risk, but you’re also putting others in danger. In addition to this, if you are caught driving whilst intoxicated, you will receive a minimum fine of R2000. Depending on your previous record, you could also be facing jail time and/or have your licence revoked. Driving with a hangover is also punishable.
Driving intoxicated does not just mean driving drunk. If you or your driver have taken drugs that impair your focus or reaction time, you should not be driving. Despite cannabis being decriminalised in SA last year, you could still get a hefty fine if you’re caught driving under the influence.
Wear Your Seatbelt
We know you’ve been told this a million times by a million different people. That’s because it’s just that important. Your safety while driving should be your first priority. Put your seatbelt on the second you get into the car and have you passengers do the same. If someone refuses, tell them that you will not start the car until they put on their seatbelts.
Do Not Use Your Phone While Driving
Texting while driving is one of the biggest causes of road accidents each and every year. Make sure that your phone is put away (not in your lap), or if you’re using your phone as a GPS, make sure you use a phone mount. Your phone should be visible while driving but not in the way.
If you are driving with someone who is on their phone, don’t be afraid to respectfully call them out on it.
Rules Are Not Made to Be Broken.
Speed limits exist for a good reason – to keep you and other road users safe. Keep an eye out for road signs so that you know what speed you’re meant to be driving. This not only keeps you safe, it saves petrol by getting you the best possible mileage.
You should also always stop at red lights/stop streets, no matter what you’ve seen others do. If your parents, friends or driving teacher follows the “do as I say, not as I do” way of teaching, listen to them. Just because they break the law does not mean you have to.
Be Proud of Your Progress
Driving a car is actually an incredible thing. You’re moving a machine that weight more than a ton with your hands and feet, with hundreds of other people doing the exact same thing all around you. Don’t feel nervous or self-conscious around others – they were there once too. If you stall your car or make a mistake, simply take a breath and try again.
Stay safe on the roads this Youth Day and Father’s Day! We hope that this article could help you keep some important things in mind or at least refresh your memory of them. If you would like to contribute an article, let us know in the comments below or contact us at www.mobility-online.co.za