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Fatal mistakes to avoid for new car drivers

People who have newly learned car driving and ventured on to the road may not be completely comfortable with the driving. Hence there are chances that they may commit errors and cause accidents. This article talks about a few common mistakes which a new car driver should avoid making to minimize the inconveniences and the chances of an accident.


For the new car drivers who are novices on the roads, driving skills are not that great compared to the experienced drivers. They are still in the learning phase and getting used to the controls of the car. It is just that they can manage to drive independently. But they still need to think consciously about what controls to use and when to use it as these things have not yet settled into their subconscious minds and hence are prone to mistakes. Hence a novice car driver should be very focused and free from distractions while driving. Below are some dangerous mistakes which a new car driver can commit which may result in accidents and injury. These mistakes should be avoided.

Mistakes likely to be committed by a novice driver

  • Brake and accelerator confusion - Confusion between brake and accelerator is the most common thing to happen to a new driver as both are located close to each other. A new driver can easily end up in pressing accelerator instead of brake and vice versa as their positions are not engraved in their minds yet. So in the sudden situations on the road when the driver has to apply the brakes he may end up pressing the accelerator which may have catastrophic results. So a driver should be very careful while driving and always keep in mind which side is the brake and which side is the accelerator. He should also keep in his mind that if suddenly someone comes in front of their car which pedals their leg should press.

  • Rearview mirror checking - This is also a common mistake which a new car driver can commit as he will not be in practice to regularly see the rear view mirrors on the left and the right of the car. Once they gather experience in driving and spend time on the road they will get used to it but initially, there are chances to miss out. Hence a new driver should make sure that he sees the left, the right and the center rear view mirror every few seconds so that he can see the vehicles coming from both the sides and the behind and adjust his driving accordingly. Initially, new drivers will have to consciously remember to check the rearview mirrors but later when they become perfect in driving it becomes effortless. It is mandatory to view the left or the right rear view mirrors when changing the lanes or taking a turn towards left or right. Also before applying brakes or slowing down, it is mandatory to see middle internal rear view mirror to see the vehicles coming from behind. If the checking of rearview mirrors gets missed out then it can lead to a serious accident because vehicles coming from your left, right or behind at high speed can dash your vehicle.

  • Sudden braking or slowing down - New drivers may sometimes suddenly apply the brakes or slow down out of panic or when they get distracted by people talking in the car or kids shouting. This can be very risky as suddenly slowing down or applying brakes can lead to the vehicle coming from behind to bang your car as your sudden applying of brakes will be unexpected for the driver of the vehicle behind you. This is likely to happen more if vehicle behind you is at a very close distance from your car. In case it happens to be a heavy vehicle like bus or truck then it could lead to a serious damage to your car and injury to the passengers. Hence a new driver should make sure that before applying the brakes or slowing down he should look at the center rear view mirror to make sure that there is no vehicle at a close distance behind.

  • Errors while reversing - It is said that reversing the car is one of the most difficult things for a new car driver. A lot of focus and attention is required in this as a driver needs to turn and look back to see the vehicles coming from the behind and sides and also people walking behind the car. A new driver should carefully look back and if everything is clear then only he should start reversing the car. Many times new drivers cause accidents while reversing as out of nervousness they forget to look at obstacles behind and end up hitting other vehicles behind them or injuring people moving behind their car. Sometimes during reversing while parking they end up hitting the wall or the other vehicles causing damage. Hence while reversing the car a driver should be extremely careful and very closely monitor the obstacles behind the car.

  • Tackling the speed breakers - Due to the lack of experience tackling speed breakers on the road sometimes becomes a challenge for a novice driver. Sometimes they will not completely slow down before the speed breakers resulting in the car and passengers inside it getting a bump. If a speed breaker is high then it can also result in car bottom hitting the speed breaker which can damage the bottom of the car. A new driver should take care that he negotiates the speed breaker very carefully and at the slowest possible speed.

  • Errors in gear shifting - For a new driver recalling the positions of 1st to 5th gear at the time of changing the gear while driving becomes challenging. It may be easy for them to do it if the car is standstill but while real-time driving it becomes a bit difficult as on the one hand they need to keep an eye on the road and at the other end they need to figure out which gear to shift to and then in which direction to move the gear lever. Sometimes while driving if a wrong gear shifting happens then either it will stall the car if a higher gear is engaged at a low speed or it will give a sudden jerk if a lower gear gets engaged at a high speed. Hence a new driver should be very careful in operating gears while driving.

  • Parking accidents - Parking is one of the most challenging tasks for a new driver as a lot of judgment and concentration is required. On one hand, a driver has to keep clear of other vehicles and parking pillars and at the same time, they need to repeatedly switch between the forward and the reverse gear and maneuver the steering wheel also. Parking especially becomes difficult in constricted parking areas and sometimes results in the car banging other vehicles or pillars resulting in scratches and dent.


Hence even if a new driver feels that he has learned driving properly, then he or she should be extremely careful in avoiding these fatal mistakes as they can cause serious accidents and injuries. A novice driver should fully concentrate while driving and keep himself or herself free from distractions. He should also make sure that he does not talk too much to his fellow passengers or listen to the loud music. Also, they should keep patience and not drive with panic. It will be a matter of time when they would get fully comfortable with the driving and all these mistakes will fade away. Once they become perfect driving will be effortless and a second nature to them.

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Author: Umesh25 Apr 2018 Member Level: Diamond   Points : 3

A very interesting and well-narrated article which is very helpful for the novice driver.

I want to add that driving is an activity which requires a lot of judgement and presence of mind. Safety should be the prime consideration in the mind of the driver. Control on speed is the main thing which matters in driving.

Driving has a big temptation for the driver to increase the speed and enjoy the thrill. If one can control this urge one can become a good driver.

Author: Natarajan25 Apr 2018 Member Level: Gold   Points : 4

Nice safety tips for novice car drivers. For those are used to driving two-wheelers and graduating to cars, they should remember that while braking and overtaking, things are different, we would need more space and distance.

I remember, while driving a car, the estimation of speed is not as appreciable as that of a two-wheeler, especially on highways and toll roads. New drivers also should remember that the braking distance is longer as the speed increases and it includes the reaction time of the driver also.

With regards to mirrors and beginners, it would be better if the rear glass is free of stickers and toys that reduce the field of vision.

Reverse parking/ parallel parking need practice. To the list, I would add stopping and resuming the drive on an uphill gradient. This was a harrowing experience for me because, by the time the vehicle lurched forward, it would have slid back close to the vehicle coming in the rear. Highway driving cannot be equated to city driving and beginners should drive cautiously.

Author: DR.N.V. Srinivasa Rao25 Apr 2018 Member Level: Platinum   Points : 3

A new driver must know all the safety requirements before he drives a car. How is the system and what are the important points to know should be understood by the driver before he starts his journey as a driver. He should maintain a very reasonable speed but as the damage will be more if an accident happens when you are driving fast. A new driver should never attempt to talk over a cell phone while driving. He should concentrate fully on the driving only and should not overtake speeding vehicles without getting a proper understanding of the other driver's method. The signals should be used properly so that the other vehicles will know about your movement and paths.

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