For new drivers, being aware of the hazards they face whilst in the car is crucial. Driving lessons, Driving instructor courses and driving training will be of great benefit so that new drivers will be able to learn how to navigate the roads safely.

After obtaining your provisional licence, experienced instructors should ensure you are prepared and know how to mitigate hazards for your first lesson. Before undertaking your driving test you should have had vast experience of dealing with hazards in your driving lessons.

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Road Signs

Learning road signs is a great way to minimise hazards as a new driver. Becoming an expert with the highway code is a great way to do this. Knowing what signs you’re coming across whilst driving will help you to anticipate hazards. Driving lessons are a great way to learn the highway code and it will benefit your driving lesson experience when you know what the road signs mean.

Ideally for your driving lessons, driving instructors should check you have an adequate understanding of all road signs and what they mean. Driving instructors also need to double check that you have an in depth knowledge of what traffic rules your country uses. This is because some countries the speed limit changes per area, but in others it doesn’t. Driving rules are also different from country to country so by knowing these before hand, helps with any confusion or misunderstanding.

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Hazard Perception

Being able to see hazards early as a learner driver is key to keeping you and others safe.

Before or during your driving lessons you will have completed a theory test. A theory test is put together by the vehicle standards agency and it’s their tests here in the UK you need to pass to become a legal driver.  Although the first part is all question based which are still there to make you a safe driver, the second part of it, is tests on hazard perception.

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Your hazard perception is in jeopardy if you are feeling tired. For all of your driving lessons and your driving test it is crucial you are wide awake. If you are particularly tired and do not feel you have 100% concentration it’s safer for you, your driving instructor and others, to not partake in your driving lesson or driving test.

Driving in bad weather conditions

Driving in bad weather causes more accidents than clear weather conditions. If you encounter rain and other bad weather conditions in your driving lessons, a driving instructor should ensure you know how to drive as safely as you can in them.

Visibility can be harder so use of screen wipers is necessary. Referencing the highway code, your stopping distance doubles when driving in the wet. This means in your driving lesson you should be sure to know your stopping distances for different speeds. Having experience of driving in poor weather conditions should put you in a great place for your driving test.

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Driving whilst eating and drinking

It is extremely dangerous to drink or eat when driving, for both yourself or another driver. This is because it is likely both hands are not on the wheel; as well as your concentration is no longer, only on the road.

It is also dangerous to let a passenger take handle on the steering wheel. Driving requires both hands on the wheel at all times.

If you have to change lanes you should signal before pulling out to indicate where you will be moving to. You also need to check your mirrors; and look over your shoulder.
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Using your phone

It is illegal to be using your phone manually when driving a car this is because it is a distraction and will make Driving Lessons more difficult. Driving with a mobile phone in your hand can be fined up to £200. Driving with one attached to the car via Bluetooth or USB cable is also illegal but isn’t as heavily punished as using it manually because it is legally not seen as such a big risk so therefore does not receive as high a fine.

Driving with an iPhone or Android phone attached to the dashboard using an App such as Waze is also illegal. However it is legal to use your phone if you have Bluetooth, voice control and/or hands free kit fitted on your car. Also it is legal to use a phone via an App if it is displaying sat-nav information. Remember the Police still have the power to stop you, if they believe you have been distracted by using a mobile phone whilst driving.

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Becoming ready to take you driving test

Once you’re ready to take your driving test, you should now not only have adequate driving experience; but also the knowledge to deal with any arising hazard. Driving can be challenging for any driver; some hazards are there to test your driving skills and you should always keep this in mind. Driving tests will usually have a number of hazard scenarios, which you’ll need to keep an eye on in order to pass.

What hazards could you encounter on your test

You might find yourself having to reverse park and turn quickly as you come up against another vehicle or obstruction.

Driving through a narrow gap between two vehicles is another hazard that often crops up on the driving test. To avoid any unnecessary damage to your car or embarrassment, take your time and check before pulling out. Driving tests will usually require you to attempt this manoeuvre at least once, so keep calm and think clearly in order to avoid hitting another vehicle or leaving too big of a gap for the examiner.

Driving into narrow spaces are a popular hazard and one which you may have been practicing since your very first lesson with Driving Instructor. If not however, be prepared by taking it slowly and checking all around before manoeuvring into the space.

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