Top tips for new P-platers

Keep you and your mates safe on the road while enjoying your driving freedom.

Passing your practical driving test and putting your new red P-plates on the car is something to celebrate, however your first solo drive might feel a little daunting.

The reassuring advice from your mum, dad or supervisor in the passenger seat is suddenly gone and you realise that you are completely responsible for every decision you make behind the wheel.

To give you some confidence for your first solo trip we have gathered some easy driving tips for new P-platers from our RACQ Education Officers.

Take control in the driver’s seat by following HALT

As the driver you can control the controllable. Before you get in the car, always HALT – ask yourself if you are Hungry, Angry, Lost (head is somewhere else) or Tired? Resolving these issues before you drive will ensure that every time you hop in the car you are giving yourself the best chance to identify potential hazards and focus on safe driving which will help you to avoid being in a crash. 

Leave your phone alone

Send your messages, check your notifications and make any phone calls before getting in the car and starting your journey. When you get in the car reduce the temptation of checking your phone by setting it to Do Not Disturb.  This keeps you focused on the task of driving and avoids any long-term consequences of a crash, a fine or loss of licence. Here are the mobile phone restrictions for learner and P-plate drivers.

Give your passengers a job

As the driver you have control of what happens in your vehicle, which means you can ask your passengers to help you on your journey. Give your passengers a fun job whether it be the navigator or DJ to keep them busy for the drive. It will also help keep you all safe by eliminating any unnecessary distractions.

Know your late-night restrictions

If you hold a P1 licence, are under 25 and you are driving between 11pm and 5am you can only carry one passenger under the age of 21 who is not an immediate family member.

In the event of a breakdown or a crash always remember HazMAP

Haz – Put your hazard lights on to tell other road users that something is wrong.
M – Move the vehicle to the safest place, provided it is safe to do so.
A – Assess if it’s safest to stay in the car or get out. If you choose to stay in the car wear your seatbelt.
P – Phone someone for help. Call your roadside assistance provider or if it is an emergency dial 000.

Become an RACQ Free2Go member

RACQ’s Free2Go program is designed for Queenslanders aged 16-24 and provides practical advice on things like driving, travel and finance. By being a member, you will also have access to a great range of discounts (including discounted roadside assistance), free L and P plates and exclusive competitions.