Tag Archives | P plates
Too close for comfort
You’re driving at the speed limit but someone behind you just can’t bear it. So how do you deal with it? You might assume they’re bullying and impatient, but not every tailgater is making an aggressive move. Many drivers get too close to the car in front because they’re distracted or have developed bad habits over the years. Don’t assume they are angry as this can make you feel intimidated and lead to mistakes. If the driver behind does not maintain a safe distance, don’t be bullied into speeding up as they will probably speed up as well and close the gap again which makes it worse because now you’re than speeding up to 50mph in a 40mph zone because you’re being pressured. You might want to consider P-plates on your car for a year after you pass your test as they can act as a reminder to the driver behind. It’s easy to find yourself looking for too long in your rear-view mirror when the real hazards are in front of you. If you’re feeling bothered pull over safely to let them pass. Tailgating frequently happens in 20 and 30mph zones, precisely the places where speed limits are most important, such as rural roads or school zones. Someone trying to pressure you into driving at an unsafe speed is not worth your worry, so hold steady.
Probationary P plates
You’ve passed your test and can say goodbye to your L plates only to be presented with the option of green P plates. They are not a legal requirement and many newly qualified drivers head off without them. However, you may want to consider that P plates simply let other drivers know you’re new on the road and to give you more space and take extra care. This should give you peace of mind and create a win-win for everyone. If P plates make you feel like a learner why not keep a set in your car just in case, and use them if you’re visiting somewhere new or driving a challenging route for the first time?
In the UK, green P plates can be used on a voluntary basis once you’ve just passed your practical test. The ‘probationary’ plates flag up to other drivers that although you are technically up to test standard, you still have limited experience and could make the odd mistake.
Driver’s reaction to P plates is often different to those displaying L plates, mainly because motorists know that there’s likely to be an experienced instructor sitting next to the L driver with dual controls and ultimate control of any situation. P plate holders on the other hand tend to receive a more lenient attitude as you’re more vulnerable being in sole charge of the vehicle. Road users recognise this and are less likely to pressure you and provide a greater following distance and more time to react at junctions and roundabouts. So yes, displaying P plates is a good idea as they can give comfort and confidence while letting others know you are still finding your wheels. Display them for as long as it takes to feel you’re a confident driver.