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Discussion Starter #1
So then, my new Up! is going to be my first car... having only just passed my test last week!

Now, I'm a confident yet relaxed driver - never in a rush and always minding my own business whilst being aware of other drivers. However... I am beginning to get a niggling worry in my head about driving my new car and the unknowns of the open road!!

I'll be commuting 40 miles a day to work and have driven the journey a fair few times, and plan to drive it a lot more at quiet times in my Up! before I start actually driving to work. There's no motorways, just a 20mile journey each way on dual carriageways and through small towns into Liverpool.

What would you experienced drivers advise me on the most common mistakes they made in their first few years of driving? Are there any common hidden pitfalls newbies make and what are the most common accidents you see happen or have experienced? Also, do you have any tips or tricks for new drivers to help calm their nerves and get them used to the wacky races of the morning commute?

I'm not exactly looking for horror stories - just wanting to be prepared and be aware of the pressures of learning curve we need to ride in the years prior to our pass ;)
 

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Please please PLEASE dont drive like you've been driving for years, over confident, with one hand on the wheel and "dick music" blaring and no consideration for other drivers!

Just stick to being cool headed and watch the roads.

Best piece of advise my mum told me, treat every driver on the road like their an idiot!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Haha, totally know what you mean about those guys, in fact a few of my friends when we where younger where just like that when they first passed... to the degree that I was in quite a bad crash on a motorway with one because he was driving like a complete prat and not listening to ourconcernson his driving andconcentration.

I'm already a very cautious person in nearly every aspect of my life... and that crash is one of the main reasons I only got round to learning to drive now and I am a complete stickler for the rules and attention to detail - I really hope it serves me well, but you can never now what you'll come up against!
 

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These are the tricks I use. It works for me in our soon to be replaced Ford Ka, VW T4 Campervan, and a BMW 120d.

Drive defensively, always assume the worst of the other driver, as you have no idea what their plan is.

When driving on the motorway, remember that you need time to react and brake.

Read the road / traffic ahead, not just the tail lights of the car in front

If you are driving and you get the ESP / ABS / TC lights on regularly then you may be overdriving the car. There can be a good reason, ice, snow, mud, water, crap road holding ( smart car).

Always use a hands free phone kit, but keep use short as it can be a distraction.

Let the experience and skill grow naturally and soon your insurance will start to fall as your no claims adds up.
 

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After nearly eight years of driving you still learn every day, its one of those things that helps you increase awareness of just how rubbish some people are at driving and why the test is now so hard to pass.

I think trying to give you set tips or tricks could be endless, all I would say is never let another idiot phase you. I've had the fortune of working with some very expensive and powerful cars, such as the one-77 Aston Martin and all i say is respect speed. Never let other intimidate you and always be calm. Even today i always check my blind spot driver side before overtaking as this is something many slack on, hence the reason car companies have spent millions developing monitoring systems.

All in all just be safe and considerate, if the other idiot wants to kill themselves with reckless driving so be it, just don't be one of them!

Good luck :)
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Yea totally right with the blind spot tip!

My mum was driving me the other week, she was very well positioned and totally within her lane... then on a long bend a motorbike came screaming out of nowhere and very nearly clipped her wing mirror - scared the crap out of us, and if she'd been just a few inches to her right or changed lanes he'd have gone flying!

Neither of us heard the motorbike approaching, and she'd checked her mirrors maybe 5 seconds before and I always check mirrors when driving with people (not in a distracting way, just an awareness way ;p) and neither of us had a clue he was approaching!!
 

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One other great piece of advise!

ALL OLD PEOPLE CANT DRIVE!!!

they are the worst, they are slow, and think because they lived through 2 world wars they own the dam roads!! they are terrible drivers!
 

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Haha this last point really made me laugh!! And it equally equates to chavy boys and girls in cars that look barely road legal. I used to take great pride when they pulled up next to me at lights and would try to race a Cooper S. Silly silly people!! But I am not condoning traffic light burns ;)
 

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I remember this one night driving up the motor way and a piece of sh!t corsafilled with 5 nedspulled up next to me in my wee smarty, LAUGHING at me!! ..... me - *foot to floor* bye bye!! Never underestimate the awesome power of the 700cc turbo charged Smarty MUHAHAHA!!!
 

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H,i best bit of advice I can give you as a driver of over 20yrs and a Police advanced driver, relax and drive like you did on your test. I know that sounds like a contradiction in terms as I'm sure you weren't relaxed on your test, but I'll wager you were very aware of what was going on around you, didn't get a speeding ticketand you didn't crash!!! ( I hope Ha ha). Don't try and show off and most of allenjoy your (hopefully) long driving career. Puff I sound old but I'm not.
 
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