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Common Mistakes New Drivers Make

Arun Prabhu
If you think of teens when you think about recklessness on the roads, you are probably right. Most new drivers are teens and most teens tend to take risks. It's not that making mistakes is bad in life, but it is especially dangerous when it comes to the road.
It is ironic how we can say that the good die young due to bad driving. Following the road rules, for many, is a hindrance. To some it just plays into reverse psychology; if you see a stop sign, then don't stop!
There is, however, nothing funny, romantic or butch about having to dump whatever is left of your car into the scrapyard. And that, would be the least of your worries. If you can't think about the safety of not only your life but of those who drive alongside you, maybe you could think of the money it will take to repair your car and yourself.
It's understandable for most new drivers to get carried away and feel, well, invincible, when they get their first car. No matter how awesome you think you are, you're still mortal. So, to help you keep yourself safe, here's a list of things that you should not do when you drive your car.

Top 11 Common Driving Mistakes New Drivers Make

Bear in mind that these things are done not only by new drivers on the road for the first time, but also by people who think they possess an above average control over their vehicles.

Being Occupied While Driving

It's a common and a very serious misconception that if you can't talk on the phone while you drive, you can text while you drive. If you do text while you drive, stop now. It's more dangerous than talking on the phone while driving.
With many U.S states already banning cell phone texts while driving and the situation of Heather Hurd's death (January, 2008) prompting the banning of cell phone usage while driving, we need to realize the seriousness of the fact that drivers should simply refrain from using anything that's distracting while driving.


Teens, more than any other type of drivers, tend to speed. This leads to the next obvious fact that most accidents from speeding involve teens. This is the main reason for most states today, employing a graduation system for issuing a driving license.


Another dangerous practice by new drivers is tailgating. Thing is, anything that the driver in the front car sees is blocked from the driver in the back car. So anything that the front driver does is pretty much unpredictable to the driver at the back.
Also, most cars require at least 120 to 150 feet to come to a stop from 60 mph. Which means the driver in the back car has little or no time to hit the brakes when the driver in the front car does. A major issue here is the attitude of the tailgating driver. They are in most cases, aggressive and cocky or people trying to question the others authority.


Face it, losing your inhibitions is not a good thing when your life is on the line. The problem with drunk driving is that, if the driver is in the age bracket of 15 to 20 years old, they probably won't call their parents to come and pick them up.
Younger kids tend to get carried away with booze and a set of wheels more than someone who is older than 22. No matter how strong-willed and fast you think you are, alcohol and marijuana will always increase your callousness and lower your reaction time.

Not Wearing a Seat belt

Whether it's because of automatic seat belts or the fear of getting a ticket, more and more drivers are now wearing seat belts, according to a report in 2008, that showed the increase in seat belt usage.
However, there are still a lot of new drivers that refuse to use a seat belt. The biggest reason for that is the need to look good and to prove they can do things their way. The age bracket of 17 to 21 contains new drivers that wear seat belts the least.


Most new drivers are bad at handling extreme situations. It's the kind of thing that comes with experience, both on the road and with your own car. Which is why teens, even if the accident isn't really their fault, tend to get dragged into it because of their lack of judgment.

Taking Risks

Ignorance, impulsive behavior and an irritated mind set, all augmented with a low sense of rationality, causes most young drivers to keep breaking road rules.
Not stopping at the stop sign, callously taking hard-edged turns or breaking the signal are some of the things that will get you killed on the road.

Pushing Physical Limits

The anomaly in the group of new and young drivers that are taking to the roads are the ones that don't really understand their own limits.
Whether you study or party all night long, driving home the next morning can be just as risky even if you follow the rules. These drowsy drivers possess an impaired reaction time and drive pretty much on autopilot.

Distractions Within the Car

This happens more with teens than mature new drivers. Not all of them have cars, so they end up cramming up together in one car; maybe 5 or even 6 teens in a car meant for 4. Chances are there will be plenty of distractions for the driver due to the commotion inside the car, making it difficult to concentrate on the road.

Buying a Sports Car

This is a common mistake for teens and beginners to make when selecting their first car. Most male teens want a good looking muscle car like a Mustang. What they underestimate is the power in muscle cars.
It is too easy for inexperienced drivers to lose control of their cars and meet with an accident. And then there's the problem of money when it comes to high-end sports cars.

Failing to Maintain Your Car

Another problem with new drivers is their inexperience about the working and maintenance of the car. 'If the car still works, then you don't need to get it fixed' is a bad thing to follow.
Most problems don't really manifest themselves until it is too late, by which time you could be in the middle of a highway in bustling traffic, or in the city in the middle of a crowded street.
Now that you know the common mistakes, you need to be cautious, aware and responsible when you're on the road. Because if you drive carelessly, you don't just risk your own life, but the lives of others as well.