How good a Driver are you?

December 19, 2019


Safety starts with your car

Having your vehicle serviced and safety checked before any long-distance trip is always a good idea however there are many things you can check yourself to ensure that you arrive safely at your destination. Always check that your tyres (including the spare) are in good condition with adequate tread and correct pressure.  Also have a quick look that your headlights, flashes and brake lights are in working order and your wiper blades are in good condition.

Put the mobile phone away

The physical, visual and cognitive distraction of using a mobile phone significantly increases the odds of a crash.  Each time a driver checks a text message, his or her eyes are off the road for an average of over 4 seconds, typically enough time to drive over 100 metres.

Always belt up

You’re 10 times more likely to be killed in a road crash if you’re not wearing a seat belt. Wearing a seat belt could mean the difference between getting a few bruises versus flying into the windscreen or being thrown out of the vehicle in a crash. It is the driver’s responsibility to ensure that all passengers are safely belted and don’t forget that any pets in the car should also be safely restrained.

Drive to the conditions

Speeding is one of the biggest killers on the road. Keep within the speed limit and always choose an appropriate speed for the driving conditions – in particular, slow-down in wet weather. This will not only reduce the risk of a crash, but also help drivers avoid costly traffic fines and loss of demerit points.

Check your blind spot and don’t drive in someone else’s blind spot

Mirrors generally do a good job of showing what’s happening behind the vehicle however, they still leave areas big enough for other vehicles, bikes and people to hide in.  Always check for blind spots with a good head over-the-shoulder look for others around you. Also avoid travelling in the blind spot of another car and especially heavy vehicles.

Don’t drink & drive

Even a small amount of alcohol in the bloodstream affects driving ability and increases the risk of a serious or fatal crash.

Don’t be a fatigued driver

Sleepiness impairs a person’s attention and coordination skills, all crucial for safe driving. Going without sleep for 18 hours has a similar impairment on driving ability as 0.05 alcohol and an estimated 20 per cent of fatal road crashes are caused by drivers being fatigued.

Leave a safe following distance

The most common road crash is a rear end collision – always leave a 3 second gap between you and the vehicle ahead.

Plan your trip and allow extra time  

The level of traffic at holiday time can be unpredictable so allow plenty of time for your journey – avoid being a driver in a rush who makes bad decisions on the road.

Be a good role model

Your good driving can have a positive effect on other road users. Sharing the road, being patient and courteous, letting another driver into a line of traffic and thanking others with a wave can all help to make your journey safe and enjoyable. Importantly, how you drive as a parent will set the standard for your young passengers and how they will drive as future road users.