If you’re learning to drive, it can be quite daunting. Being in charge of a vehicle involves a lot of responsibility, as you know there is a lot of danger involved. Here at Great Western Driving School, we’ve put together a guide for those of you just beginning the learning process of driving.
Be Aware, but Not Scared
Other cars and traffic situations can be scary, but you shouldn’t be too cautious. Driving is like being in a school of fish – you have to go with the flow. Examples of this are things like merging or pulling into traffic from an intersection.
When you merge, you have to speed up to match the other drivers. You have to be able to judge the correct speed to attain so you merge with the other traffic, but ideally not exceed the speed limit.
Many beginners think that if they get in the way, other drivers will crash into them. This is not true – unless of course they haven’t seen you – but that is rare. You have to have a certain amount of trust in the other drivers on the road. Most people will brake for a slower car, or just overtake.
When you’re pulling out from an intersection, you need to be able to judge how much time you have before oncoming traffic will arrive. This takes practice, but you’re usually going to have to pull out at some point, especially if it’s busy. You can’t wait forever at an intersection for the perfect gap in traffic because you will cause a blockage in the road.
If you’re not confident in traffic, try driving around some quiet local streets where there are not as many cars to content with.
Try not to worry too much about other vehicles, because you will find there is a range of different drivers with different styles out there. If someone’s tailgating you, don’t worry about it. Let them. As long as you’re not driving excessively slow, you are in the right to hold your position on the road. It’s not worth speeding just so an impatient driver can get to their destination a minute quicker.
Take it slow when you’re learning – challenge yourself with busy traffic or inner city driving when you feel confident you can control the car and be aware of conditions.