Three things young drivers should know after their test

Young female learner driver at the wheel with a female instructor.

Published 9 April 2021
Last updated 12 April 2021

Have you recently passed your practical driving test? Useful advice on how to avoid risk-taking behaviour, distractions and taking drugs or alcohol.

So, you’ve passed your test and now the world’s your oyster – you can drive wherever you want!

  • Weekend nights out without asking your parents for a lift? Check.
  • No more listening to your dad chuntering on about the way he changes gear? Check.
  • Lapping the local ring road just because you can? Check.

It all sounds great, doesn’t it? And it should be, as long as you bear these 3 bits of extra advice in mind

  1. If it looks and feels dangerous, it *is*dangerous. It’s a fact that newly licensed drivers often become overconfident in their abilities soon after passing their driving test, despite their lack of experience. For example, studies of new drivers have shown that they’re likely to be super-confident in their ability to predict the behaviour of other road users. Think about it ... do you feel like you know what’s going to happen next? Does that make you feel justified in speeding or taking other risks? The truth is that risk-taking behaviour is never justified.
  2. Switch your mobile off, keep your music at a sensible volume and ask your noisy passengers to pipe down. Yes, this one's about distractions; it's when you spend time looking at your mobile phone or adjusting your radio, rather than focusing on the road. In fact, it's more than that: a distraction is anything that takes your attention away from what the boffins call the 'driving task'.
    Young drivers tend to give in to the tempation of looking away a little bit more than drivers in other age groups. This is usually because they do not recognise the risks. So, do yourself a favour: think about the risks and just focus on your driving.
    You can read more about distraction while you’re driving in this earlier blog.
  3. Drink, drugs and driving are not a healthy combination. Now you may be reading this and thinking ‘I know that – I’m not stupid!’ Of course you know this is true and we know that most young drivers do not take drugs or drink (or both!) before getting behind the wheel. But it does happen. The stats tell us that young drivers who crash are twice as likely to be impaired by alcohol as older drivers who crash. Our colleagues at THINK! (website) have put together some excellent resources on the consequences of drink and drug driving. Head on over and get clued up.

You may also be interested to read what some drug users believe about their drug driving in this blog.

So there you have it. Three extra cuts of prime advice, fresh from the Safe Driving for Life stores. Season with sensible practice and – if necessary – some additional post-test lessons from an approved driving instructor, and you should be ready for a feast of driving enjoyment. If that does not satisfy your appetite for safer driving, head over to the Safe Driving for Life shop and pick up a copy of The Official DVSA Guide to Better Driving.

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