Be a Responsible Driver
While it is fun to have your friends in the car, being the driver means you are responsible for the safe operation of the vehicle and for the safe transport of you and your fellow passengers. Take control and advise your passengers that their safety also relies on them being considerate and behaving appropriately.
Be confident – but not overly confident. Most importantly, don’t become complacent in your thinking or actions whilst driving!
We hope the following safety tips will help young drivers when out and about on their driving adventures.
Take Time to Become Familiar with a New Car
If you are borrowing, hiring (over 21 years of age), or you have purchased a new car, take the time to become familiar with its features. Position your mirrors and seat appropriately, and locate and know where all the features and key instruments are. Taking a few minutes to prepare the vehicle to suit your requirements will assist with your safety.
Wet Weather Driving
Wet weather changes driving conditions dramatically. The best advice is to slow down and be sensible with your decision making. Avoid braking quickly and heavily, keep a safe distance from the vehicle in front, do not drive through flood waters and, most importantly, don’t panic or make rash decisions. If you take a few extra precautions and drive to the conditions of the road, you will be in a better position to make positive decisions should a situation arise.
To help with knowing how to appropriately and safely navigate dangerous situations, you may like to invest in a defensive driving course. The skills and driving techniques you acquire will be a great resource in helping you to become a confident driver.
Stopping Behind a Car on an Incline
When stopping on a slight or significant incline, be courteous and provide extra space between you and the vehicle in front. Manual vehicles do have the capability to roll back and, depending upon the driver’s ability to operate their vehicle, the roll back experienced may be small to quite extensive. Providing a little extra space will cater for a driver experiencing any roll back.
U-Turn Permitted Signs
The general rule is a u-turn is only permitted should a sign stipulate as such. Remember, traffic lights have a sequence and are coordinated with pedestrians crossing at lights or with other traffic doing left or right hand turns. If you are doing an illegal u-turn from a right hand turning lane, you may be navigating into the direct path of pedestrians crossing or cars that have a green arrow to turn left out of the street that you should be turning right into.
Remember – if no u-turn is permitted, it is generally because other traffic or pedestrians have right of way at the same time you have your green arrow to turn right.
Give Trucks Enough Space When Turning
Trucks and trucks with additional items such as, tanks or trailers require extra room when manoeuvring corners. Sometimes, trucks may need both lanes of a two lane turn to be able to safely navigate the corner. Please be considerate and allow trucks the extra room if required.
Take Care on Roundabouts
Whether you are driving on a single or two lane roundabout, always remember to appropriately indicate. When approaching a roundabout, always slow down to ensure you are able to give way to other vehicles that are on the roundabout or that are entering.
Be Vigilant of Motorbike Riders
Motorbike riders are advised on how best to travel and position themselves to assist drivers with seeing them more easily, but sharing the road means all road users are to take the same care and safety measures as each other. Drivers need to be vigilant of motorbike riders and to realise that they are not able to be as easily seen as another vehicle.
Top Tip: Always check you blind spots before changing lanes. A motorbike is compact enough to be positioned within your blind spot, and unless you take the extra care to check, you may not see them. For more information on blind spots, please visit our article ‘Know Your Blind Spots’.
Keep a Look Out for Emergency Vehicles
Remember that emergency vehicles can operate with sirens and lights, or just lights. Regularly check your surroundings to keep watch for emergency vehicles. Take extra care during the day as an emergency vehicle that is using just lights and no siren, will not be as easy to detect approaching from behind as it would at night.
Tip: While you love to play your favourite music loudly, it may be a more safe approach to play it at a volume that allows you to easily hear noises around you such as, emergency vehicles, another driver sounding their horn for a safety reason, etc.
Take Extra Care Near Pedestrian Crossings
If a crossing is ahead, slow down and ensure you check there are no pedestrians stopped or approaching the entrance to the crossing. Take extra care around school zones and in built up areas.
Obey the Speed Limit
Take care and always adhere to the outlined speed limit. Speed limits are in place for your safety and the safety of others as well as providing an appropriate limit for the road conditions. Remember the 50km per hour rule for built-up areas and take note of school zones.
Be courteous and obey the speed limits stipulated for road work areas. The detailed speed limit is not only for your safety, but is also designed to provide road workers a safe working environment. Show respect for the individuals working hard to perform improvements and maintenance work for the roads we all use.
Be responsible and remember to always be sensible with your decision making while driving a vehicle. Enjoy your travels!
Other Car Rental Buddy articles that may be of interest to you include:
Quick Safety Tip: Holding the Steering Wheel Correctly
Storm Season Safety Tips
Outback Driving Quick Tip: Driver Visibility