So you’ve just got your shiny, new P-plate and you’re very excited to get on the road now in your own car. You’ve probably looked over your shoulders thousand of times to check your blind spots, practised parallel parking more than a hundred of times and now, have earned your spot to drive in the real world.
So is driving on the roads similar to what you’ve experienced when you were learning to drive? Way different, you bet. You might have already heard how Singaporean drivers have zero tolerance on the road, honking at the slightest irritation and not thinking twice about high-beaming another driver. Or perhaps you’ve started driving on the roads but not quite sure why you are on the receiving end of these hostile acts.
So here’s to helping you, new drivers, to be safer and better drivers on the road.
1.Stick to the middle lane
Driving on the expressway should be easy right? Wrong. In fact, when we took a look at the forums on Singapore discussing safe-driving tips, many drivers had questions about or issues on switching lanes on the express.
New drivers can make the mistake of driving too slowly (so that they do not miss their exits), or end up cutting from the right lane to the extreme left within a short instance when they realised they were in the wrong lane. That’s mighty dangerous and one way to solve this is to actually stick to the middle lane.
Staying in the middle and cruising at the right speed will keep you pretty safe for the time being until you are more comfortable on the roads.
We are not sure why but it does seem that many people don’t like to put on a signal when they are switching lanes. In any case, signalling is not only a good practice and habit to maintain on the roads, it can also be very helpful towards motorbikes since they typically rely on cars signalling for them to be able to split lanes.
3. Practise Defensive Driving
Experienced drivers will tell you that when you are driving on the roads, you should assume that everyone else are newbie drivers. This is to ensure that you do not get complacent and help you anticipate dangerous situations involving adverse conditions or mistakes made by others. This can be achieved through adherence to a variety of general rules, as well as the practice of specific driving/riding techniques.
Examples of defensive driving techniques include following the rules of right of way, anticipating other drivers’ reaction, maintaining proper following distance and staying out of blind spots. While they may sound intuitive, you might be surprised that many of us forget about these practices when the engine starts running.
4. Don’t hog the right lane
Nothing frustrates other drivers more than a slow driver hogging the right lane and holding up all the cars behind. If someone comes up to you at a higher speed, let them overtake you.
5. Don’t change lane unnecessarily
Chances are if you are driving during peak hours, you’ll be stuck in traffic. The only thing you can do in such a situation is to wait patiently and stay cool. It’s frustrating, we know. But changing your lane when you’re stuck in a 10km/h moving lane doesn’t really help much. In fact, changing lanes persistently in such a scenario only increases the likelihood of grazing the vehicles near you or hitting unsuspecting motorcyclists.
6. Anticipate a stop
You might find many new drivers trying to beat the amber light when it comes on. Think about it, is it worth the $200 fine and 12 demerit points? Absolutely not. It’s always good measure to train yourself to anticipate a stop whenever you approach a traffic light and stay on the safe side.
7. Be Courteous
While not a driving technique or practice per se, being courteous on the road and letting things go can make life easier for others, as well as yourself. Letting other cars go first, giving way to pedestrians and generally being polite on the road can greatly reduce your own frustrations, it can also make driving much more pleasurable.
Last but not least, do consider getting yourself a comprehensive car insurance to give yourself maximum protection, especially if you are a new driver! No one can anticipate when an accident can happen and given the price of cars and the cost of an accident, it’d probably be a good idea to get the maximum protection you can.
Driving safely comes with another advantage – earning your No-claim Discount (NCD). Every year of not being involved in an accident helps you earn a discount on your annual car insurance premiums, which can help you to shave up to 60% off your premiums. So stop hesitating now and get a quote with DirectAsia today!