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Steps for New Drivers: First-Time Accidents

Taking your first steps as a newborn was exciting, scary, and maybe even uncomfortable, and these similar feelings can apply when you are new to the road. Being a new driver is exciting but frightening because every day is different, and the most experienced drivers you share the road with can be intimidating. It can be uncomfortable due to inexperience, and your confidence may not be at its highest when you start. We have put together a list of safety tips and even steps to take after encountering your first accident as a new driver. To be the best driver and avoid collisions, you must be defensive by paying attention to the people around you. Accidents are avoided by paying attention. People often find themselves in collisions due to driving too closely behind another vehicle, multi-tasking while driving, or simply driving too fast. Here is a list of safety tips for new drivers to avoid unwanted and possibly life-threatening collisions. 

Practice a Cautious and Alert Driving Style

Specific processes must be routine and a priority whenever operating any vehicle. It is recommended that you check your mirrors often to be aware of surrounding drivers, use your signals to communicate with others properly and effectively on the road, and monitor your speed to ensure you can stop if something hazardous is on the road or traffic develops before you. 

Accelerate Slowly

Taking your time is a part of practicing self-control while operating your vehicle. When lights turn green, it is recommended not to accelerate immediately but instead to take time to observe the intersection to ensure traffic from opposite directions has stopped completely, and it is safe to proceed. It is also necessary for the health of your engine. An engine performs better when it is eased into acceleration versus aggressively forced into maximum speeds. 

Hold the Steering Wheel Steady

Holding the steering wheel appropriately ensures you have complete control over the vehicle and helps to alleviate swaying in and out of lanes. Control over your vehicle is essential for the safety of you, your passengers, and others with whom you share the roads. 

Brake Gently

Like slow acceleration, it is also essential to brake gently too. Slamming on your brakes is not only damaging your brakes, but it can also cause a collision from behind you. Suppose the driver behind your vehicle hasn't given themselves enough space to ease into a stop and you brake aggressively. In that case, it can often lead to a bumper collision and sometimes between more than two vehicles. For this reason, we also recommend avoiding tailgating at all costs and leaving at least one car distance between you and other drivers to avoid hard braking. 

Maintain Safe Speeds

Not only to follow the law but also for the safety of you, your passengers, and other vehicles you share the road with. Maintaining safe speeds ensures you are compliant with the expectations of the road, and it helps you to keep control of your vehicle to avoid collisions. As a new driver, it will be of the utmost importance that you practice self-control. It may be tempting to accelerate speeds to keep up with the more experienced drivers on the road, but it is not safe. 

Be Aware of Road Signs

Road signs are in place to ensure drivers' safety by communicating the necessary precautions to take before entering an area. As a new driver, be aware of the road signs around you and never ignore them. Follow safety signals and avoid speeding through yellow lights, turning on red when it is not permitted, and making U-turns where it is deemed unsafe. 

Change Lanes Cautiously 

Finally, it is crucial to communicate with the drivers you share the road with by utilizing your signals at all times. Turning left or right requires a blinker and should never be avoided, no matter how much traffic is around. A collision can occur due to miscommunication which is why as professionals, we recommend always letting others know what decision you and your vehicle are about to make. 

How to Avoid Collisions 

To avoid a collision, here are some simple steps to follow:

  • Keep your distance 
  • Drive strategically
  • Don't get distracted
  • Don't drive when tired or under the influence
  • Drive appropriate for the weather
  • Don't drive too fast
  • Monitor mirrors on both sides and rearview before backing up 

It is unrealistic for a driver never to be involved in a collision, whether it is your fault or someone else's. Should an accident occur, we have developed a list of steps to take after a collision occurs. 

  • Breathe
  • Move vehicle to a safe place and away from ongoing traffic
  • Get necessary information from other drivers
  • Seek medical treatment as soon as possible 
  • Contact insurance
  • Keep track of all relevant records

These steps and safety tips are the best ways to keep you and other drivers safe. Collisions happen but can be avoided if road signs are followed, attention span is heightened, signals are used to communicate, and speeds are safely maintained. Following the expectations of the road are the best way to avoid collisions and is the safest way to eliminate two, three, or more car collisions. Whether you are a new driver or more experienced, the listed processes are in place to eliminate the chances that your vehicle comes into contact with another.