5 pressures young drivers face

You’ve recently passed your driving test – congratulations! You’re enjoying life on the road and the freedom that comes with holding a full driving licence.

The novelty of being the ‘designated driver’ for your friends and family is yet to wear off!
You may have heard the saying about driving lessons: ‘You don’t learn to drive, you learn to pass your test.’

Most experienced drivers will agree with this – while you may have mastered manoeuvres and studied road signs, the real lessons come after you get your full licence.

You’ll learn so much more about the road and about driving as you build up your experience.

Driving pressures and distractions

A young girl smiling as she drives
One thing you’ll find out very quickly after passing your test is that there are a lot of pressures and distractions you need to learn how to manage.
Driving is a task that requires your undivided attention. Pressures and distractions come in all shapes and sizes, from over-talkative mates and speeding, to using your smartphone to snap a selfie or read a text.
Below, we take a look at five driving pressures and distractions for young drivers, and offer some tips on how to prevent or manage them.

1. Overtaking

A passenger may be egging you on to overtake the slow vehicle in front, or maybe the car behind is putting pressure on you by driving too close.

But overtaking is something that requires a good deal of skill and confidence – you need to be 100% sure the road ahead is clear and safe.

If you’ve decided the manoeuvre is necessary and that it’s safe to carry out, dropping a gear can help you to gain some momentum.
It could also be worth displaying ‘P’ plates on your car, which can encourage other drivers to be a little more patient with you. As Gov.UK notes, probationary P plates can be left on your car for as long as you like.

2. Driver selfies

Social media has inspired a dangerous driving trend: taking selfies behind the wheel.

You might be tempted to snap yourself in the driver’s seat (especially if you’re driving slow or are stuck in traffic) but be warned: taking a picture of yourself can be just as dangerous as texting or making a call while driving.
Not only do your risk your life and the lives of your passengers and other road users for using your phone at the wheel, but you’ll lose your licence if you’ve passed your test within the last two years.

This means you’ll have to apply (and pay) for a new provisional licence, and pass your theory and practical tests all over again. No pic is worth that!

3. Chatty passengers

Your friend might be keen to tell you the latest gossip or fill you in on everything they got up to at the weekend, but it’s surprising how off-putting this can actually be.

Especially if they ask you questions or insist on showing you things on their phone (which can be extremely dangerous if you’re driving at the time).
Ultimately, you’re responsible for the safety of you and the people in your car – and a very distracting passenger could jeopardise this.

Don’t be afraid to tell passengers that you need to concentrate fully on driving, and to save the chat for when you’ve reached your destination.

And don’t be afraid to politely remind them to shut up if they start jabbering on during the trip!

4. Loud music

Most drivers listen to something while in the car – whether it’s the radio, a playlist or podcast.

But crank it up and the sound can actually be incredibly distracting, not to mention dangerous if you start manually changing songs while driving.
You need to be able to hear your car, other people who may be using their horn to warn you of something ahead, or sirens indicating an approaching ambulance or police car.
Choosing a playlist before you set off (and sticking to it) and setting the volume to a suitable level will help to make sure music doesn’t distract you. And if your passenger demands that they put on their playlist, tell them not to play it too loudly.

5. Copying your parents’ bad habits

It’s quite common for drivers to develop bad habits over time – your parents are no exception.

They may have a tendency to tailgate, be a little slack on indicating or have the occasional burst of road rage. Maybe it’s your time to teach them a thing or two about safe and responsible driving!
Also, if your parents offer you driving advice that conflicts with something you’ve learned from your instructor or in your theory test materials, chances are your parents are in the wrong. Mum and dad don’t always know best…
A person using an indicator as they drive

Receiving a driving conviction as a young driver

These are just a handful of the pressures and distractions young drivers face after passing their test – others include things like speeding, driving at night or in rural areas, or using your phone for texting and making calls.

While most of these impact your safety, they can also lead to you being convicted of a driving offence and receiving penalty points, a fine or losing your licence altogether.
Young drivers found guilty of committing a motoring offence will inevitably find it harder to secure affordable car insurance.

Premiums for new and young drivers tend to be on the higher side anyway due to their lack of experience behind the wheel. If you find yourself in this situation, the Insurance Factory may be able to help.
We specialise in convicted driver insurance that can help get you back on the road following a motoring offence.

We don’t judge; instead, we’ll treat you as an individual, looking at your needs and circumstances to find the right policy for you.
We consider a range of driving convictions, including:
  • Driving without insurance
  • Speeding on the motorway
  • Driving in a dangerous manner
  • Driving at a dangerous speed
  • Reckless driving
  • Non-motoring convictions
The Insurance Factory has over 20 years of experience in arranging convicted driver insurance, and has access to a specialist panel of insurers to help you in your search for cover that suits your needs and budget.
Get a convicted driver insurance quote today.