Congratulations, you have just passed your driving test and are ready to hit the road. Whether you’ve packed a tent in the trunk for a weekend camping or you’re just heading around the block to see a friend, you’re no doubt wondering what road users you might encounter that you were never exposed to during your lessons.
There’s no need to panic – as a newly qualified road user you will soon be very familiar with all of the conscientious and responsible people you’re sharing lanes with. Read on to get a head start and reduce the chances of being surprised.
- Road workers
Unless you were very unlucky, it’s unlikely you came across any major road works during your driving lessons. Driving instructors will often avoid routes that pass road works as they don’t want your valuable lesson time being used up stopped at red lights, but with nearly 12,000 employed as road workers in the United States it’s only a matter of time before you come across some.
Look out for the bright flashing beacons that signal the use of heavy machinery or highway maintenance equipment, make sure you give them as wide a berth as possible and pay attention to any temporary road signs they have installed.
Cycling laws differ by state in the USA, so make sure you have checked what they are for where you will be driving. Passing cyclists, letting them turn and giving them enough room when stopped at traffic lights are all skills you will learn to do naturally in time, but while you are a new driver it is essential you think about it carefully. Unlike you, cyclists do not have side-view mirrors and looking behind them constantly will unbalance them – it is your responsibility to keep them safe.
- Horse riders
Much more uncommon than a cyclist, but much bigger. You may think you will spot a horse rider coming from a mile away, but on narrow, high-hedged and winding country roads, that is easier said than done. Once again, drivers have the responsibility here and should slow down so as not to spook the animal and leave as much space as you would do for a vehicle. Click here
- Emergency services
Your driving instructor will likely have briefed you on this but, once again, unless you were unlucky you have probably yet to share the road with an emergency services vehicle. Bright lights and loud sirens should pierce any music you have playing – the moment you notice one of these vehicles you should identify where it is coming from and if necessary pull over as soon as possible. For more information
- Delivery drivers
Finally, the delivery driver. There are two types of delivery driver to look out for: the first, a food delivery driver on a motorbike and the second, a large delivery van that could be looking to pull over at any moment.
Keep your eyes peeled at traffic lights for pizza deliveries cutting up the side of you to get their order on time, while larger delivery vehicles may simply require a little patience as you allow them to maneuver into their delivery location.