Common Mistakes New Drivers Make And How To Avoid Them

A significant number of people in Australia consider driving to be an exciting rite of passage; however, for new drivers, driving can also be a challenging and nerve-wracking experience. When it comes to learning how to drive, it is essential to remember that safety should always come first. Learning to drive is essential for independence and convenience. Let’s take a look at some of the most common errors that new drivers make and figure out how to avoid them so that we can assist them in safely navigating new roads.

1. Neglecting Defensive Driving Techniques

One of the most significant mistakes new drivers make is failing to embrace defensive driving techniques. Being aware of your surroundings, foreseeing possible dangers, and being ready to respond quickly are all part of defensive driving. To avoid this mistake, you should contact driving instructors near you to learn defensive driving techniques and acquire valuable skills such as hazard perception, safe following distances, and emergency braking.

2. Ignoring Speed Limits

Speeding is a widespread issue among new drivers. It’s essential to adhere to posted speed limits, which are designed to keep everyone safe on the road. Observe speed limit signs and modify your speed when necessary. Remember that exceeding the speed limit not only endangers your life but can also result in hefty fines and license suspension.

3. Failing To Use Indicators Properly

Indicators are a crucial communication tool on the road. New drivers often forget to use them or misuse them, leading to confusion for other road users. Always use your indicators when changing lanes, merging, or turning, and ensure they are turned off after completing the maneuver. This simple step helps prevent accidents and promotes smoother traffic flow.

4. Inadequate Observation At Intersections

Many accidents occur at intersections due to a lack of proper observation. New drivers sometimes fail to check for oncoming traffic, cyclists, or pedestrians before proceeding through an intersection. To avoid this mistake, remember to stop completely at stop signs, look both ways, and ensure the intersection is clear before moving forward. Never rush through an intersection without thoroughly checking for potential dangers.

5. Following Too Closely (Tailgating)

Tailgating, or following the vehicle in front too closely, is a common mistake among new drivers. It’s essential to keep a safe following distance to give yourself enough time to react in the event of an emergency or abrupt stop. The recommended minimum following distance is at least a three-second gap under normal driving conditions. Increase this gap during adverse weather or heavy traffic.

6. Overconfidence

New drivers sometimes become overconfident after a few successful trips, which can lead to complacency and poor decision-making. It’s essential to remain cautious and humble behind the wheel. Keep in mind that driving is a skill that needs to be constantly developed. Continue to practice and seek guidance from experienced drivers or instructors when needed.

7. Using A Mobile Phone While Driving

On Australian roads, distracted driving—especially the use of mobile phones—is a serious problem. Like many others, new drivers might not realize how dangerous it is to text or talk on the cell phone while operating a vehicle. Always keep your phone out of reach while driving, and use a hands-free gadget if needed, to avoid making this error. Pull over in a safe spot if you need to make a call or send a message.


Being able to drive is a big life milestone, but it also has challenges and responsibilities. Avoiding common mistakes made by new drivers is crucial for road safety. By embracing defensive driving techniques, respecting speed limits, using indicators properly, observing intersections, maintaining a safe following distance, staying humble, and avoiding distractions, new drivers can contribute to safer and secure roads for all Australians. Remember that responsible driving not only protects your life but also the lives of others sharing the road with you.