If you passed your driving test with us, no doubt you’re already a confident and competent driver. But in East Anglia, our local roads are as full of charm as they are littered with hidden dangers. Before setting off on your own for the first time, prepare yourself by reading our top tips for new drivers in Norfolk!
Avoid accident black spots
We don’t like setting our pupils up for failure. According to Norfolk Constabulary, 1 in 5 new drivers will have a crash within the first six months of passing. Whilst you’re still gaining experience as an independent driver, you might want to consider sticking to safer routes whenever possible.
According to information released by Norfolk County Council, the county’s most dangerous junction is the A146 in Hales. Improvements are coming, with £1.6m has been earmarked to improve road safety at this junction. For now, though, it’s still best to find an alternative route until improvement work has been completed.
The second-worst accident black spot in Norfolk is at the A146/A47 junction near Trowse. These sliproads have seen 20 accidents in just six years, with 40 casualties.
Next in the running for this infamous accolade is the junction between the A148 and the B1105 in Fakenham. It has been the site of 10 accidents in six years, with 16 casualties. The A140 junction with Flordon Road in Newton Flotman has also seen 10 accidents over the same period, with 18 casualties.
If you’d like to know where else to avoid, you can read about the top 10 accident black spots in Norfolk.
Travel at quieter times and on quieter routes
If you have the luxury of choice, aim to avoid the rush hour. Most ‘A’ roads will be exceptionally busy between 8 am and 9 am and 5 pm to 6 pm. The major trunk roads that lead into Norwich often grind to a halt during these periods. If your employer gives you flexibility over when you start and finish work, why not turn up an hour earlier? Not only does this tend to impress bosses, it’s also a great feeling when you get to sail off home ahead of everybody else!
Some congestion is difficult to avoid however. With Norfolk being a popular tourist destination remember that coastal areas in particular can be especially busy during the summer months. If you need to escape to the beach yourself, make the most of your local knowledge and head to one of the quieter spots the tourists haven’t yet read about in The Guardian.
Set off on the right foot
Drivers often make mistakes because they put themselves under undue pressure or allow themselves to be distracted.
Make sure you give yourself plenty of time. Having to rush will only increase your chances of making a mistake. If you’re running late, park safely and call whoever is expecting you to let them know. This takes the pressure off you and removes the distraction of worry.
You can minimise distractions further by keeping the environment inside your car as tidy and as calm as possible. This might mean turning the music down and asking friends not to shout or talk to you while you’re driving. It might also mean chucking out rubbish and securing loose items such as bags and bottles which might move around in transit and distract you.
Improve your driving skills
We hope you’ve found our top tips for new drivers useful. If you’re planning on taking a longer road trip, you might also want to read our post about driving outside of Norfolk.
If you’re still not feeling confident about driving on your own then you might find further tuition beneficial. At How-2-Drive, we can provide both Pass Plus courses and refresher driving lessons to set you up on the road to success.