Young Drivers and The Highway Code
If your driving test is fast approaching, or even if you’re a new driver already on the road, the Highway Code is likely to be on your mind almost as much as finding affordable car insurance!
It’s a busy (and potentially stressful) time for young drivers, but failing to learn the Highway Code thoroughly can lead to speeding tickets, fines, points on your license or even criminal prosecution. Any of these blips will make it trickier to get cheaper car insurance at renewal.
Highway Code facts
Did you know..?
- The very first Highway code was published in April 1931
- There are two versions in the UK, one for England, Scotland and Wales and the other for Northern Ireland
- The Highway Code has been constantly updated to reflect the latest driving practices
- The Highway Code is held in such high regard that many of its rules have been reflected in modern traffic law – failure to abide by them can lead to criminal prosecution
- The Highway Code costs around £2.50 to buy.
What’s in the Highway Code?
There are currently 307 rules listed in the Code, broken down by section, for example Rules for Motorways, Rules for Drivers and Motorcyclists, Rules about Animals, Driving in Adverse Weather Conditions etc.
This is a daunting prospect for many young drivers, added to which there are nine additional sections (Annexes) relating to topics such as Motor Vehicle Documentation, Vehicle Maintenance and First Aid.
Whilst we thoroughly recommend that every young driver takes the time to read this information (parts of the Code you will have to know, such as road markings, road signs and speed limits etc), you will also be pleased to know that there are sections in the Highway Code that can be seen as common sense. You'll be surprised at how much you already know, such as “Don’t drink and drive”.
So don’t panic – set aside some time to go through each section logically and make sure you’re prepared for any situation that arises, both during your driving test and afterwards, as a new driver.
Ways to Access the Highway Code
The Highway Code can be accessed in a number of ways. Its most popular format is the printed version, and this can be bought very easily either online or from most major book sellers. (You might be interested to know that there are also Welsh and Irish language versions of the Highway Code available).
TIP: Don’t buy a second-hand version of the Highway Code; it could be out of date and that might trip you up in your Theory Test, as well as not being much help in a practical situation on the road.
An e-book version can also be downloaded, which is helpful as you can highlight passages of text and make notes in the Kindle edition for easier revision.
The Government’s own website publishes the whole Highway Code for free, which you can then download and print for yourself if you wish.
Continuing with online opportunities, there is an official Highway Code app for the iPhone, iPad and iPod, and apps are also available for Android and Windows Phone devices.
For those of a social nature, The Highway Code also has its own Facebook Page and Twitter account, so you can keep up with any recent changes, tips to keep you safe on the roads and share moans with other followers about the driver who cut you up on your way to work this morning!
There’s an interactive CD-Rom, including a Highway Code Quiz and a “test yourself” function to gauge your progress.
For drivers with hearing impairments, the Driving Standards Agency has published a Highway Code DVD and book pack with British sign language.
Helping young drivers through the early months
As already mentioned, the Highway Code is constantly updated, so it’s worth checking back through the official Government website version once in a while to check on current best practice (it's also a good idea to refresh your memory on things you learnt for your driving test and promptly forgot afterwards!).
The Government tries to help young drivers in the 12 months following their test, when you’re at your most vulnerable, by issuing a Safety Code for new drivers. This can be found in the Annexes of the Highway Code and it contains some useful, but common sense advice.
Passing your Highway Code Theory Test
Your driving instructor is an expert source of information as well as teaching you the technical elements of driving, so if you have Highway Code questions make use of their knowledge and experience.
There are also useful online resources that pose practice questions to test your knowledge and help you learn more quickly – just Google “Highway Code questions” or Highway Code quiz” to find them.
Ready to get on the road?
Congratulations on taking your first steps as a driver! Now to tackle your car insurance. Why not get in touch to take advantage of our cheap quotes for young drivers? We’ll find you the best rates in just a few minutes.