With young driver car insurance costing the earth these days, this is a clear reflection of the way in which lack of experience can have a direct impact on road safety in the younger age group.

Figures released by The Co-operative Insurance show that up to a quarter of young drivers fail to identify common road signs and so they have launched a scheme to reward safe driving by basing premium levels on driving behaviour. So, cultivating good driving skills can and does have a direct impact on premiums – but what skills does being a good driver involve exactly?

 

Confidence

Ironically, too much of this tends to be the bane of young drivers. They simply haven’t had the time to develop the instinctive responses needed to handle a complex machine in different conditions and yet often feel they know it all.

This ends up with them multi-tasking whilst at the wheel instead of concentrating on their driving, potentially taking unnecessary risks as a result. Conversely, not enough confidence can lead to nervous or hesitant drivers who are just as much of a hazard on the road. The trick is to achieve confidence in your driving ability, without becoming arrogant or complacent.

 

The Highway Code

The Highway Code has to be thoroughly mastered before getting behind the wheel, but even after you’ve passed your test, the code should be checked regularly. Get a recent copy and keep it in the glove compartment because additions are constantly being made and being aware of these is the secret to safe driving.

 

Practical skills

It almost goes without saying, but you need to know all the basics of good driving, whatever vehicle you happen to be in. This will include things like proper use of the brake and accelerator, switching gears and correct use of signalling. These quickly become second nature with practice, so get out on the road and get moving. Smooth and efficient driving will incidentally help reduce running costs too, so you have everything to gain and nothing to lose.

 

Controlling speed

Speeding is a huge problem with younger drivers. A lack of awareness of the difficulty of controlling a vehicle at speed is compounded with factors such as wanting to show off to friends. Reaction times are severely reduced when driving at high speeds and there’s often simply not enough time to react to unexpected obstacles or changing road conditions. Keeping to the correct speed limit is therefore an absolute must and taking additional driver training (such as the Pass Plus scheme) is advised for anyone newly qualified to drive on UK roads.

 

Sources:

http://www.youngdrivinginsurance.co.uk/why-are-young-drivers-accident-prone.html https://www.coverbox.co.uk/articles/drivingskills.html” https://www.coverbox.co.uk/articles/drivingskills.html http://news.silobreaker.com/a-quarter-of-motorists-fail-to-recognise-common-road-signs-5_2266589776234676290

 
Feature photo credit: Eduardo Deboni via photopin cc