Common mistakes when you’re still carrying that “L”
Text: Jorge García Palomo
Every driver has had a first time: that unforgettable day when you start up a car at the driving school and you see the instructor beside you moving his own pedals as if he were a football star. The classes continue, you’re making progress and you finally get your driving license. Now you’re in the real world. It’s time to realise that you learn further by mistaking mistakes, other drivers will criticise you, you’ll wish you were already an expert at the wheel. But before that time comes, it’s almost certain that you’ll commit some of these errors, which common among the world’s beginners:
-Be calm with the clutch. Even Fernando Alonso’s car stalls once in a while. No problem. Take a deep breath and concentrate on a movement of the clutch that, before you know it, will become automatic: not even a steep hill on the Tour de France cycling race will upset you.
-Always remember that you’re just beginning. Don’t become overly confident when it looks like you’re controlling the car better than a casino card dealer.
-No distractions. Not even alcohol –no drinking, ever!– is more lethal than using a cell phone while you drive. Don’t even think about taking your eyes off the road. Avoiding accidents is much more important than the latest meme.
-Who said aquaplaning? Adapt your driving to the surface. Be careful if the road is wet: this dangerous situation with the amusing name, aquaplaning, can make you lose control. It’s not just a chapter in the theoretical book you use to prepare for the exam.
-Use the highway well. As they explain on the motorpasion.com website, beginners tend to use the middle lane more than is normal. Because having space on either side gives the sensation of being safer? Well you shouldn’t do this. Each lane, as they explain in the driving schools, has its own use.
-Safety distance. Before empirically figuring out why it has that name, maintain the safety distance: that space that will prevent you from crashing –in case of an unforeseen situation or a sharp braking– into the vehicle ahead of you. This distance depends on road conditions and other factors. Review the rules of the road and the total distance it takes to stop: calculate that while travelling at 100 km/h you have to maintain a distance of around 100 metres.
-It’s essential to check your car in time. It may seem obvious, but it’s been proven that beginning drivers, for many reasons, don’t always have their car in top condition. And in the case of the tyres, you should never cut corners.
These are some of the mistakes made by new drivers. Enjoy each trip with more guarantees.