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Five Important Safety Tips for New Drivers

Many young drivers who have just passed their driving test end up making a claim in their first year on the road.*

New driver insurance premiums often rise after the first 12 months if a claim has been made on the policy. There are a number of things young drivers can do to make sure they're safe when they first take to the roads on their own, including those below:

Keep your distance

Driving too close to the vehicle in front or 'tailgating' as it's often known is a cause of many claims on new drivers' car insurance.

Not knowing your own reaction time and stopping distances at certain speeds can have fatal consequences. If you're found to have caused an accident through driving too close to the vehicle in front, your new driver insurance payments will soar when you come to renew.

As a general rule, you should keep a minimum two second gap between you and the car in front, and double this to four seconds if the road conditions are wet.

Check your tyres regularly

Many young drivers simply aren't aware of the importance of regular tyre checks. Your tyres may seem fine in the dry, but if they're excessively worn, your stopping distance could increase significantly in wet conditions.

You should also make frequent checks for any cuts or bulges in your tyres as these can lead to blow-outs and an increased likelihood of having an accident and making a claim on your new driver insurance.

Check your windscreen for chips and cracks

Any impairment to your driving visibility can be dangerous. It's a good idea to check over your windscreen regularly to look for any chips or cracks that could become much worse.

Eventually, if you leave them long enough, small chips and cracks will develop into larger ones which could make driving impossible. As a young driver, your lack of experience can make it difficult to know what to do in a situation like this.

Drive according to the conditions

New driver car insurance premiums are higher than for other groups of drivers, because of the accident statistics. Many accidents may caused by young drivers failing to adapt the way they drive to the road conditions.

For example, if you drive in the same way on a wet, busy motorway as you would on a dry summer's day with no traffic on the road, you could be putting yourself at risk.

Get any mechanical problems looked at immediately

The final safety tip is to get any potential problems with your vehicle looked at straight away. For example if your brakes start to feel spongy or you notice your steering isn't quite right, you should take your car to a mechanic right away.

If you delay getting a problem looked at, it may turn into something more serious which could result in you having an accident e.g. by your brakes not working properly.

Unless you know about the mechanics of cars yourself, it's best not to take any chances and potentially have to make a claim on your new driver car insurance.

*Source: AA research

Author Bio: The Co-operative Insurance provides quotes for new driver car insurance. Their Smartbox system can help young drivers save money on their policies. Visit http://www.co-operativeinsurance.co.uk/servlet/Satellite/1228203835143,CFSweb/Page/Insurance-Car?WT.svl=nav3 for more information.

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