Here are some tips to help you become a skilled driver, and some common mistakes made by drivers on the road.
Some vehicles drop oil onto the road usually when the vehicle is stationary at stop signs and traffic lights. The oil creates a very slippery surface and can often cause accidents when a driver brakes on this surface. Be aware this danger and try to avoid braking heavily in these areas.
Other vehicles can often hide in your blind spot if they are travelling at the same speed as your vehicle in the next lane, or if another driver moves quickly across lanes into your blind spot.
It is important to regularly check mirrors to reveal other vehicles moving in and out of your blind-spot, and it is essential to signal for a long time before driving into a new lane. After signalling it is also important to check over the appropriate shoulder for approaching vehicles in the lane you wish to move to.
Many vehicle accidents are caused by speeding, so it is important to constantly check the speed you are travelling at, and ensure you are at or below the legal limit for the road you are travelling on. If you are unsure of the legal limit allowed on the particular road you are travelling on, you should not exceed the minimum limit of 50 (or 40 in school zones during school hours and other selected areas), until you are able to determine the maximum legal speed allowed.
Good Driving Practice
- Use your car horn if others sharing the road with you approach a situation in a threatening manner.
- Open your window when you are unable to see the road ahead, and use your ears to listen for approaching traffic.
- Travel in the left lane on freeways, unless you are overtaking another vehicle at a safe speed.
- Be conscious that truck drivers sometimes use the engine to slow down, so the brake lights will not come on.
- Large trucks turn left from the centre lane so don't drive down their left side.
- Use your car horn to warn others when they are in danger.
- Watch other driver's reactions to the road ahead, which will normally indicate any issues you need to prepare yourself for.
- Turn wheels left while stopped on a left turn or straight ahead on a right turn to deflect away from collision from the right if you are hit from the rear.
- Use headlights on rainy days because other driver's windows fog up and impair their vision.
- Full beam obliterates on-coming headlights so only turn them on occasionally and when there is no oncoming traffic to light up dark areas.
- Be aware that people with diminished judgment may step out on to the road without warning. Be especially aware around pubs and clubs, sporting events, schools, and elderly citizens clubs.
- Use your car horn to indicate you are backing out of your driveway to avoid any pedestrian on the footpath about to cross your driveway.
- When railway barriers are going up, wait until they are fully up and the red lights and bells have stopped before proceeding since there might be a second train.
- Ensure you follow trucks at a distance so you can see and be seen by the driver. It is important to get as much practice as possible in all types of weather and road conditions – at least 120 hours (including 10 night hours) before you get your P Licence.