New driver? Conquer the road with these 5 vehicle features

Advanced tech features such as an automatic gearbox, park distance control and a blind spot monitor can make life safer for novice drivers, says

09 May 2022 - 10:30
As a new driver, using an automated gearbox can help you master clutch control and smooth pull-offs, giving you the confidence you need on the road.
Image: Supplied/ As a new driver, using an automated gearbox can help you master clutch control and smooth pull-offs, giving you the confidence you need on the road.

It is well known that a large number of car accidents on the road are caused by inexperienced drivers. Learning to drive can be a daunting process for many people, with a lot of things to remember and remain in control of, while navigating roads that are littered with reckless, inconsiderate drivers.

While some motoring innovations may be a few years away, a few tech features are available in most vehicles these days, and are sure to make things easier for new drivers. It is worth confirming if these features are present when shopping for a vehicle for a new driver. 

Here are five features from, supported by Motus Toyota (previously Imperial Toyota), that new drivers should know about.

1. Automatic gearbox

Mastering clutch control and smooth pull-offs is often the trickiest part of learning to drive. But an automatic gearbox eliminates this and a large portion of the stress associated with learning to drive. Automatic gearboxes used to be reserved for more expensive models, but can even be found on entry-level vehicles these days.

2. Park distance control

Using a series of sensors around the vehicle, park distance control makes parking easier by alerting you to the proximity of fixed objects via a series of beeps that increase in volume as you get closer to the object. 

Some systems display an image on the touchscreen simultaneously, with green and red sections indicating how close you are to the object. More advanced systems will offer a camera view or even a 360° bird’s eye view that will allow even novice drivers to park in the tightest of spots.

3. Blind spot monitor

A blind spot monitor will alert the driver to the presence of a vehicle in their blind spot by way of a small light on the side mirrors. More advanced versions of this system take this one step further by audibly warning the driver about a vehicle in their blind spot as soon as they start changing lanes.

4. Auto hold

This system, normally found on vehicles fitted with an automatic gearbox, holds the brakes for a split second when pulling away on an incline, preventing the vehicle from rolling backwards.

5. Anti-lock braking system (ABS)

A few years ago, performing an emergency braking manoeuvre would result in the front wheels locking up and the vehicle sliding towards the hazard. The advent of ABS braking has made emergency braking much safer by automatically modulating the brakes in line with the grip levels. This ensures the vehicle comes to a safe stop in the shortest distance possible, no matter the surface conditions.

Fortunately, technology has slowly taken a lot of the stress and hassle out of driving and as the industry moves towards autonomous driving, more of the driving functions will become automated.

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