Top new driver tips every young driver needs to know

Offering insightful new driver tips is key to ensuring that young drivers stay safe on the road and drive with confidence.

According to the NSW Government, young drivers under the age of 26 make up about 14% of licence holders but are overrepresented in annual fatalities on motorways. With thousands of young drivers taking the wheel every year to test their newfound freedom, these figures speak to the unforgiving nature of Australian roads and how disproportionately inexperienced drivers are involved in road crashes.

Navigating the many road regulations requires a lot of knowledge, skills, and responsible decision-making. By giving young drivers the right tools and resources to learn new driver tips and create a better mindset while driving, their skills behind the wheel can be transformed into an empowering experience.

When considering young driver's safety it’s important to give them the right tips and equip them with insights and strategies to stay safe, confident, and in control when on the road.

The best new driver tips for young drivers

Many tips can help young drivers stay safe on the road. Let’s take a look at a few tips that new drivers need to know that they may not be familiar with.

checkout counter

Refrain from tailgating

When it comes to personal space, it doesn’t just apply to social situations like standing too close to someone at the checkout counter. Personal space also applies between cars.  Don’t follow the vehicle in front of you too closely and leave space for it to move or prevent a crash and give yourself enough space to break in case it comes to a sudden stop. A good tip to keep in mind is to make sure you can see the back tyres of the car in front of you.

comfort speed

Drive at your comfort speed

Speeding is the biggest cause of fatalities in Western Australia and the simplest way is to drive slower and stick to your comfort zone. You may come across drivers who try to get you to speed up but the safest option is to not cave into the pressure and take your time to get used to driving on the road with everyone else. Don’t try to drive fast to keep up with everyone else because you don’t have the reflexes or reactions of experienced drivers.

Adjust your mirrors

Adjust your mirrors before driving

Whether you’re getting into your car or a different car that you don’t have experience driving, always adjust your mirrors and your seat. Make sure that your side mirrors are perfectly aligned with your line of vision and capture every angle. With your rearview mirror, make sure that you have a clear view of what’s behind you, especially if you’re driving on an inclined road. This is something that is often overlooked but is very important to abide by.

use your signals

Don’t be afraid to use your signals

One of the first new driver tips that young drivers need to know about and how to properly practise is using signals when they’re on the road. Failure to use signals can lead to multiple vehicles trying to make the same turn or head to the same spot and end up crashing into each other creating a dangerous situation and inconveniencing others on the road. Ensure you use the right signals at the right time, making it safer for everyone using the road.

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Research from NSW indicates that 15- to 25-year-olds have a 75 per cent greater chance of being injured at work



Research from NSW indicates that 15- to 25-year-olds have a 75 per cent greater chance of being injured at work


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Youthsafe: Get help on your journey as a new driver

Young drivers face a lot of unique challenges when they’re starting to drive and at Youthsafe we are dedicated to empowering youth with a range of services and programs designed to promote safety, personal growth, and well-being on the road.

For new drivers, having comprehensive road safety education programs that cover driving techniques, vehicle handling skills, and other tips for safer driving is important and our team at Youthsafe is dedicated to helping youth start and continue their journey as a new driver.


What's the most important thing a new driver should focus on?

New drivers need to focus on developing a defensive driving mindset. This means being constantly aware of your surroundings, anticipating potential hazards, and making responsible decisions to avoid crashes. It also involves mastering vehicle control and handling, eliminating distractions, and understanding the risks and consequences of reckless driving behaviour.

How can I overcome my anxiety as a new driver?

Anxiety is a common experience for many new drivers, and it's perfectly normal. The key is to take things at your own pace and practice in controlled environments until you build confidence. You can also consider taking a defensive driving course or working with an experienced instructor who can provide guidance and support. Remember, the more you drive, the more comfortable and confident you'll become.

How can I improve my night driving skills?

Night driving can be challenging for new drivers because of reduced visibility and increased fatigue. To improve your night driving skills, practice in low-risk environments like residential areas or parking lots. Adjust your driving speed to account for reduced visibility, and avoid staring directly at oncoming headlights.

You can also ensure your vehicle's headlights, taillights, and signals are functioning correctly, and consider taking a night driving course for additional guidance.