Getting your drivers license can be an exhilarating experience. Being a driver gives you a new sense of independence and freedom, however, it is important to ensure that you remain safe and responsible behind the wheel, as it’s not just your life on the line when you operate a motorized vehicle, but other lives as well. Here at Trubicars, we know that being a driver on today’s roads can open a wide range of doors for you, whether you will be commuting for business or for pleasure, being a safe and responsible driver is a MUST. Along with learning a new skill (such as driving), there are mistakes to be made but those mistakes are easily to correct. Here are a few common mistakes new drivers make and how to conquer them.
1 Not wearing a seat-belt
Wearing a seat belt is the most effective way to reduce injuries and save lives in traffic collisions. As a driver, you are responsible for wearing a seatbelt and ensuring that
- Every person in your vehicle has their own working seatbelt
- Passengers under the age of 16 wear their seatbelts properly in your vehicle and
- Children are secured in an appropriate child car seat or booster seat. If you fail to wear a seatbelt, you can be fined between $200 and $1000 and risk losing 2 Demerit Points.
2 Tailgating / following too closely
Tailgating (or following too closely) is considered to be aggressive driving and can be mistaken for road rage. In ideal driving conditions, to avoid tailgating, use the 3-second rule! Leave at least 3 seconds between you and the car in-front of you. In poor driving conditions, you should be increasing the distance.
Speeding is another type of aggressive driving. Although you may be excited to get on the road, or are potentially running late, it’s important that you maintain the posted speed limits. If you are driving at a high speed, you may find yourself unable to control your vehicle during an emergency; thus creating a dangerous hazard. If you are convicted of speeding, you may receive demerit points as well as a fine.
- If you are 16-29 kilometers per hour over the speed limit you may gain 3 points.
- If you are 30-49 kilometers per hour over the speed limit you may gain 4 points.
- If you are 50+ kilometres per hour over the speed limit you may gain 6 points.
The fine for driving over the speed limit will depend on how fast you were travelling over the speed limit.
- If you are over less than 20 kilometers per hour you will be fined $3 per kilometer per hour over the speed limit.
- At 20 to less than 30 kilometers per hour you will be fined $4.50 per kilometer per hour over the speed limit.
- At 30 to less than 50 kilometers per hour you will be fined $7. At 50 kilometers per hour or more you will be fined $9.75. (For example: if you drive 40 kilometers per hour over the speed limit you will be fined $7 Times 40, for a total of $280).
4 Impaired Driving
Driving impaired is a serious offence on not only Ontario roads, but ALL roads. As a driver, you have a responsibility to remain sober behind the wheel. Impaired driving means operating a vehicle while your ability to do so has been compromised by consuming alcohol, drugs (either cannabis, over-the-counter drugs, prescription medication or illegal substances) or a combination of the above. You can face charges if your blood alcohol concentration is 0.08 or more.
- If you are under 21 years old or hold a G1, G2, M1 or M2 license you cannot have any alcohol in your system.
If police detect and test that you are driving while impaired you can face immediate license suspensions, Fines and reinstatement fees, enrollment into education or treatment programs, vehicle impoundment or even harsher penalties upon conviction. Avoid impaired driving by: assigned a designated driver, using public transport, calling a friend or family member for a ride, using a ride share or taxi service or staying overnight at your location.
It’s important to remember that driving is a privilege NOT a right. At Trubicars, we recognize and encourage our students to remember that driving is a big responsibility, and it is your duty as an operator of a motorized vehicle to ensure that you remain safe and responsible behind the wheel. If you are looking for more information on common mistakes new drivers make, check out the Trubicars website! https://www.trubicars.ca/