Estimated Time to Read: 3 minutes

Stepping behind the wheel of a vehicle for the very first time can be both a daunting and exciting experience! Being in control of a vehicle brings great responsibility, as your actions are accountable for yourself, any passengers and other road users. With this in mind, if you are just starting the process of learning to drive a car, here are ten things you should bear in mind at all times when learning to ensure safety and ultimate success as your skills improve and your practical test approaches;

Blind Spots

You will of course be well aware of how important it is to check your surroundings before pulling off, yet whilst you may well check all your mirrors, there are certain areas that you won’t be able to see when doing this; otherwise known as blind spots. When pulling off, always look over both your left and right shoulder as these are the main blind spot areas, not covered by your mirrors.

Making Decisions

Decision making is one of the most important, yet hardest, parts of driving. For instance, you may be sat at a junction waiting to pull out and have to make the decision of when to go and when to stay. There are three choices you have when in this situation, you can either go, stop or not know whether to go or not, and it is all about being confident in the decision you make.

Whilst deciding to either go or stop are easy decisions, one thing to keep in mind is that if you are at all unsure and you don’t know what to do, this is like an automatic safety trigger designed to keep you safe so it is probably best to stay where you are and look for a better opportunity to pull out.

Dealing with Hazards

A hazard can occur at any point, so it is important that you know how to react whenever the need arises. Anything that causes you to change your speed or direction can be classed as a hazard, so you need to know how to react in order to ensure your safety and those around you. The easiest way to remember is to learn the phrase MSM, which stands for mirror, signal, and manoeuvre; therefore taking you through the steps that need to occur when a hazardous situation arises.

As soon as you notice a hazard, you should immediately check what is going on behind you before performing any form of manoeuvre. Once you have assessed the situation behind you, you then need to signal accordingly to let those behind know what you are planning to do. Once the previous two steps have been completed and it is safe to do so, complete the manoeuvre required to avoid the hazard.

These are just three of the many things you will need to bear in mind when learning to drive, however if you get these right, you will be well on the way to first being safe on the road and secondly being successful behind the wheel.

This post was written by Oliver Kyle on behalf of Learn Drive; an intensive driving school designed to help you get behind the wheel quickly, yet ensuring safety and skill are never compromised.