Common mistakes

Common new driver mistakes

It’s natural to make a few mistakes when you’re new to driving. Here are the top ten mistakes new drivers make and how to avoid them.

Not planning ahead

Lots of new drivers don’t realise how quickly things change on the road. The more you look out for hazards, the earlier you’ll see them coming.

Driving too close to the car in front

Keeping the right distance gives you time to respond if something changes quickly – such as the car in front braking suddenly.

Using your phone

Whether it’s for calls, texts or Facebook, it’s illegal and dangerously distracting to use your phone while driving. Leave it until you’ve arrived.

Choosing the wrong car

Many new drivers choose big engines and smart looks over safety features. Smaller cars are easier to control and park.

Poor maintenance

The costs of looking after a car can be a shock if you’re not used to them. Keep some spare cash handy to repair and maintain your vehicle.

Playing music too loud

Your favourite tunes at high volume might drown out the sound of hazards or emergency vehicles around you. Turn it down.


Without the supervision of Mum, Dad or an instructor, many new drivers are tempted to put their foot down – especially if their mates are encouraging them to show off. Stick to the limit at all times.

Taking too many risks

As you get more confident behind the wheel, you may take more risks without having the skills to back them up. Always remember what you’re really capable of.

Driving over the limit

There’s never any excuse to drive after you’ve been drinking.

Getting distracted

Phones, music, mates chatting…they can all take your attention off the road. Stay focussed.

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