7 Most Common Mistakes New Drivers Make

Drivers young and old have all made a series of mistakes. No driver in the world has ever gotten by without making a mistake, because it’s in our nature to. While making mistakes is natural, there are a few mistakes that a great number of new drivers make.

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1. Risks

Ignore traffic signals? Ignore school zone signs? Ignore blind spots when changing lanes? These risky “choices” are grounds for vehicle collisions. New drivers, teenagers in particular, tend to be far more impulsive than people in their 20s and 30s. This impulse translates to bad driving on the road.

2. Tire Maintenance

Having cars serviced and performing basic checks is par for the course when it comes to vehicles. However, for new drivers who weren’t exposed to these when they were growing up, it can be a scary new world. They may not know how to check the tread depth of tires or the pressure of them. This mistake may be financially expensive as they fail to properly maintain their vehicle.

3. Tailgating

Young drivers (or mature drivers who received their license) may take a while to learn the dimension sizes of vehicles for the first few months. This means that they may follow cars ahead of them far too closely – enough to cause a minor fender bender or other serious accident. There is a general 10-yard rule that keeps drivers evenly spaced between each other. This rule teaches us to be aware of our surroundings.

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 4. Speed

Speeding seems fine. New drivers don’t have this knowledge. Speeding is dangerous (regardless of your skill level) and can lead to fatal crashes – something that new drivers don’t understand yet, as they tend to speed with trucks in residential areas. This may be something a truck accident attorney may or may not be able to help with.

5. Panic

There’s nothing like hitting the real road for the first time. No matter how many practice runs new drivers have had beside a teacher, a friend or family member, those first few runs are brutal. Especially if the new driver is already prone to panicking and over-thinking things. Driving isn’t for the faint of heart when it comes to “in the moment” experiences that may invite disaster or injuries.

6. Misunderstanding

People are more likely to misread road signs during the night. This is understandable. However, thinking that a sign directs drivers to stay on the right can lead to horrible results; the sign actually directs drivers to stay on the left. New drivers are not adjusted yet to driving at night like people who have a few years on them.

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7. Phones

This is a crime – one that happens so often without penalty that it seems naturally okay. It’s a crime that both new and experienced drivers make all the time. Whether it’s talking, texting, or picking up the phone for “a few seconds,” it is illegal in many states and has been banned for the past decade. This is another form of distraction which includes changing the radio/Bluetooth station, putting on makeup, eating/drinking, etc.


These are just a few of the most common problems new drivers make – at least for their first few drives in the real world. If you’ve been driving for X many decades, you’ve most likely made the exact same mistakes when you started. We’ve all got to start somewhere. Don’t discourage new drivers from improving their abilities.