You’ve passed your test so you’re safe to be on the road. But that doesn’t make the roads a safe place for you. The first few months after your driving test are when you’re most likely to be involved in a collision.
“I have been in a few accidents, when I was younger, when we would hit a street light or two,”says Essex and England cricketer Ravi Bopara.“That sort of thing happens when you are young and your mates are driving fast and stuff, they take the corner too late and … bang! You do that as a kid.”
Check the stats:
- One in five new drivers are involved in a collision in their first year of driving
- An 18-year-old male driver is three times more likely to die in a crash than a 48-year-old driver
- One in three young male drivers will write off a car in their first year of driving. For young females it’s one in six.
When you’re a new driver you’re inexperienced – you don’t have the miles and hours on the road that give you added road sense. That means you will react more slowly to hazards and makes you less likely to predict problems simply because you won’t recognise them – you’ve never seen them before.
Five things that make you dangerous:
- Speeding: sends your car or motorbike out of control, especially easy on corners.
- Weather conditions: rain and ice can make your car handle differently and fog makes visibility difficult.
- Distractions: mobile, noisy mates in the car, booming music. Turn it down! Driving takes more concentration than you realise.
- New roads: driving safely on motorways and dual carriageways requires experience.
- Night driving: a skill you may not have practised when learning.
So don’t spoil the party of passing your driving test; be even more alert and stay safe; be strong enough to tell your mates when to be quiet, their lives are in your hands.