Behind the wheel

Behind the wheel

Here are some quick reminders about the things you should think about before you get into your car.

The most important thing about you as a driver is your attitude.* Being impatient, rude or irresponsible will make your driving less enjoyable and will also put you and other road users at risk.

Defensive driving involves observing what’s happening around you, anticipating problems and controlling your car effectively. For more information about defensive driving, see the Driver Knowledge Centre.

If you're nervous about driving, think about what makes you nervous.

There are lots of different factors that can mean you’re not safe to drive, from the obvious ones (eg if you’ve been drinking alcohol or you’re feeling tired) to the less obvious (eg you’re feeling upset or you’ve got a twisted ankle). See the Driver Knowledge Centre for more information about being fit to drive.

Remember that you mustn’t drive while you’re using a hand-held mobile phone: it’s against the law. If you need to make or answer a call when you’re driving, you must stop and park safely first.

Try to stay calm if you’re involved in an incident.

  • Move any uninjured passengers, animals and passers-by away from the vehicles involved in the incident.
  • Don’t try to move anyone who’s injured.
  • Call the emergency services if necessary.
  • Give first aid if you can: see The Highway Code for basic first aid advice.

See the Driver Knowledge Centre for more information on what to do in an incident.

Planning your journey will help you get to your destination on time and with the least stress: use the journey planner to help you.

*You can learn more about the effects of mood and distraction on your driving by reading The Official DVSA Guide to Better Driving.