New Driver Crashes – 3 Steps To Avoid These And Stay Safe


You know how the script reads. You’ve just passed your test. You feel on top of the world, or at least on top of North-West London. So you grab a car, and go for a drive all by yourself, and it’s all going great. Until you then end up in a field, upside-down, having a conversation with a sheep. Now I recognise that not every accident results in the car being the wrong way up. Fortunately, not every crash involves unusual conversations with livestock, but crashes among new drivers are worryingly common. There is the obvious blanket reason being a lack of experience, but there are a few more that are less talked about. Let’s look at 3 other causes for new driver crashes and how to avoid them.

Before we begin, don’t forget about our 20% Discount for New Drivers offer on all our services. We can help you into a new car for less. And then if you help us by referring a friend, you will get 10% of their fee on top of this. Everybody wins!

Avoid this sort of thing where possible
Avoid this sort of thing where possible

Opinion vs Ability
When you pass your test, you feel invincible. I felt the same when I passed my car and full motorbike test. And funnily enough, that’s when you’re probably most at risk. You have little or no experience driving by yourself without an instructor guiding you. So those who think that when they pass, it means they are automatically a great driver, could be in for a shock. Conversely, if you have passed your test, there is no need to be overly nervous! The main exam has been done, and nerves can reduce driving ability and cloud one’s thought process. Keep the books that got you through the test, and refer to them when you set off. It may work for you, and it certainly helped me a great deal.

Passing a test means you have reached a standard fit for the road, but there is so much more learning to do. You have the potential to become a great driver in future. But you don’t yet have the ability, until you’ve got some miles under your belt. So as long as the opinion of your own driving doesn’t stray too far from your actual ability, you will be far better off.

Anticipation vs Reaction
One of the key aspects to driving, this. In fact, it probably is the key aspect to driving. Look as far ahead of yourself as you can. It’s what all decent racing drivers do, and this anticipation means that you should have to react to much less. Observe the weather conditions. Spot the bus pulling up on the other side of the road, that impatient drivers may want to overtake. Don’t miss the small children playing football next to the road. Who knows where that ball may end up! These are all examples of situations that could have a direct impact on you.

This is why the hazard perception test is not just there to allow you to practice clicking a mouse. These real life situations happen all the time. The better you are able to predict what may happen, rather than reacting to what does happen, the safer you will be. And therefore, the longer you will be able to enjoy accident free driving! It’s still clearly important to be able to react to situations that may arise without warning. But if you’re reacting to everything, there’s still a bit of work to do. Look up and look as far ahead as you can. Glance left and right briefly to see what may end up in your path. You’ll then be far better placed.

Arguments with supercars don't often end well...
Arguments with supercars don’t often end well…

The Wrong People
People can help you or hinder you at any point. You may get your friend in the car, and they might encourage you to go faster, which never ends well. You might have someone in the car who is quite controlling and not encouraging. Both are not ideal. I didn’t take any friends in my car for the first few months, because I knew the risks. I knew the penalty for getting it wrong. Passengers can have a huge impact how one drives.

The trick here is to have someone in the car to encourage your driving, but not to promote excess speed or danger. The driving test does not (really) teach people how to recover a slide, or handle understeer properly. As said before, you reach a minimum standard for the road, and then once you pass the real learning begins. Once you find that optimum person, you will start feeling more comfortable behind the wheel. As long as you don’t then become too confident, your standard will rise.

How do you feel as a new driver? Do you feel confident in your ability, or a bit concerned about the thought of driving alone? Join the family, and let me know in the comments, and let’s avoid too many new driver crashes in future. Thanks for reading!

What are your thoughts?