With your pass certificate in your hand you are ready to go. Congratulations! Now that you have the knowledge and ability to drive on your own, you need to ensure that you avoid doing anything that could make you into a convicted driver. Keeping safe on the road and remembering what you have learnt are now your priorities as you navigate the world in your new vehicle. If you don’t stay safe and stick to the rules and regulations that you have learned, you run the risk of becoming a disqualified driver and getting a criminal conviction.
Below we will be having a look at some of the ways that you can ensure that you are staying safe and can avoid becoming a convicted driver:
Get a Speed Limiter
To ensure that you don’t go over a certain speed, you can get a speed limiter fitted to your car. It is an intelligent speed assistance (ISA) system that allows you to use the accelerator but will stop the car going faster when it gets to the limited speed. Information about your speed is communicated to the engine’s computer by sensors in your vehicle that are placed where they can detect how fast your car is going. When the set speed limit is met, the computer will restrict the flow of air and fuel to the engine, so that you cannot go faster than the set speed.
Speed limiters can be overridden if you put your foot down hard on the accelerator if you ever need to speed up quickly.
There are two different types of speed limiters. An adjustable speed limiter is the most common type of limiter in cars, and it needs to be set and changed by the driver when speed limits change. The other kind of speed limiter is an intelligent speed assistance system that is more advanced, as it automatically adjusts the speed limit when you drive into areas with different speed limits.
With a speed limiter, it reduces the likelihood of getting fines or points on your license for speeding, and can also reduce the average number of road collisions that occur.
Invest in a Speed Monitor
When you first start to drive on your own and head onto unfamiliar roads, you might accidentally find yourself going over the speed limit because you weren’t sure of the speed. This can lead to fines and sometimes points on your license. To prevent this from happening, you could invest in a speed monitoring device, or use a smartphone app that can use GPS and speed cameras to let you know the speed limit of the road you are on.
Depending on the speed monitor you get, they will have different features. Some will alert you if you are going over the speed limit, some will be able to calculate your average speed in an average speed zone, but all of them should be able to tell you the speed limit of the road you are currently on.
Advanced driver training
If you want to ensure that you are as fully prepared for driving on your own as you can be, then you should think about doing some advanced driver training. These are courses that you do after you have passed your test that cover and prepare you for areas of driving that weren't included in your driving lessons. Paying to take some of these courses will ensure that you are well prepared for anything that you might face on the road. Some of the courses you can take are:
Don’t drink and drive
most common type of driving convictionis a DR10, which you can get if you drive or attempt to drive while you are above the alcohol limit level. A DR10 is a criminal conviction and it stays on your driving record for 11 years.
In England and Wales, the limit is 35 micrograms per 100 millilitres of breath or 80 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood. In Scotland, the limit is lower; it is 22 micrograms of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath or 50 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood.
It takes specialist equipment to assess the amount of alcohol in your system, and the amount an individual can drink varies depending on gender, age, metabolism, weight, along with other factors. As it is so hard to work out whether or not you are over the limit, or how the alcohol will affect you, if you are going to be driving, it is better to abstain from driving altogether.
You even have to be careful if you are driving the day after a night of drinking because you could still be over the limit the next day and not realise.
Getting out on the road on your own for the first time after you have passed your test is exciting, but it is essential that you don’t forget what you have learned. Build up your confidence slowly, start with short journeys, and don’t get distracted by passengers or music. Let yourself focus on getting used to driving, stay alert, and stay safe!