People who have been driving for years forget how hard it was to begin
learning to operate a vehicle. There are so many rules to memorize and
ways to operate a car that you can’t really learn until actually
driving. This is why many new drivers make some of the same mistakes when
they are just getting started, mistakes that could cause accidents if
they’re not careful. Here are some things to watch out for if you’re
just getting started as a driver.
Having a lead foot can result in deadly consequences. Whether you are running
late, or you just enjoy the feeling of speeding, going over the speed
limit is dangerous. You hear it all the time, but what do people mean
by it? Well, the faster you go, the less control you have over your car,
and the longer it will take to come to a complete stop. Let’s say
you’re driving 40 MPH in a school zone. A child steps out into the
road because she lost control of her ball. It takes you seconds to process
the information, another few milliseconds for your brain to send a signal
to your foot to press on the brake pedal, and a few more seconds to come
to a complete stop. By that time, you may have already hit the child in the road.
Despite what you may have heard, people’s brains are incapable of
true multitasking. You can do two things at once, but your brain is processing
one right after the other at high speed, so it feels like you’re
processing both at once. If you’re driving and engaging in a hands-free
conversation on your phone, your brain’s capability of tracking
moving objects goes down by 1/3. Your field of vision also narrows. Anything
that prevents you from fully focusing on driving is a potential distraction,
and distracted driving is one of the largest causes of car accidents in
the United States.
People may be going slower than you would like them to, but that doesn’t
mean you should tailgate them. Even if you want them to move to the side,
there’s no guarantee they will. The best course of action is to
pass them carefully. This will allow you to go the speed you wish without
endangering yourself or the other driver. Tailgating is a problem because
you can’t see what’s directly ahead of the car in front of
you. If something darts in front of the car ahead, and they suddenly brake,
you will likely strike the bumper because you’re driving so close.
Likewise, if you’re traveling at a high speed, bumper-to-bumper
accidents can cause a lot of damage, especially if several cars are tailgating
one right after the other. Multiple-vehicle accidents are some of the
most dangerous collisions people experience.
Not Buckling Up
Believe it or not, seatbelts weren’t mandatory until the 70s and
80s. Prior to that, many fatal car accidents occurred because the proper
safety features did not exist to prevent people from flying out of the
front windshield if a crash occurred. Seat belts may be uncomfortable,
but putting them on as soon as you get into the car is a good practice.
Observational studies of car crash fatalities and experiments using crash
test dummies and human cadavers have shown that wearing seat belts greatly
reduces a person’s risk of death and injury in a collision.
Drugs and alcohol are still a huge problem among drivers. Thousands of
lives could be saved every year if people refrained from getting behind
the wheel when under the influence of a controlled substance. Many new
drivers are teenagers, and teens tend to be even more impulsive than the
average adult. Some decide to use a drug or drink alcohol and think they’re
sober enough to drive later. However, despite how sober you
feel, your body is still under the influence of whatever you’ve taken,
meaning your motor skills are compromised and may not respond appropriately
in an emergency.
Letting Other Drivers Influence You
Driving can be extremely unfamiliar to someone who is just learning. Those
who are cautious will also tend to second-guess themselves when driving.
Instructors and other people attempting to correct errors will continuously
point out what they’re doing wrong, so they may interpret other
drivers as having the same motivation. A new driver might not know you
don’t necessarily have to turn right at a red light. It’s
not mandatory, though the person behind you may be honking for you to
go. New drivers can be influenced by other drivers without realizing other
drivers may not have their best interests in mind. Knowing when other
drivers are wrong is part of the learning experience, but succumbing to
another driver’s impatience can often cause new drivers to make
Failure to Maintain the Vehicle
What some new drivers fail to understand is that all cars have the potential
to stop working at some point, new or old. Even with a brand new car,
the manufacturer can make a mistake, which can cause the engine to stop,
the brakes to fail, or the gas tank to leak. It’s always important
to maintain your vehicle. The manufacturer might have regular servicing
offers you can take advantage of, and doing so can save you a lot of money
down the line.
If you were injured in a collision caused by someone else’s negligence,
talk to our skilled
Kingston car accident attorneys.
Mainetti, Mainetti & O’Connor is a firm dedicated to helping victims seek compensation for their medical
bills, lost wages, and property damage. Let us see what we can do for you.
Talk to us in a free consultation. Call us at (845) 340-HURT or
fill out our online form to schedule a meeting with us today.