Forget your phone, CD or sat nav, concentrate on the road.
Forget your phone, CD or sat nav, concentrate on the road. Lee Constable

Russell White's top 10 driver safety tips

HERE are our top 10 driving tips from driversafety.com.au.

1. Look as far ahead down the road as you can
The most import aspect to remember when driving is to look as far ahead down the road as you possibly can. Doing so will help you plan your moves more effectively. It will also improve how you read road conditions and work with the traffic flow.


2. Keep a safe following distance and don't travel too close to the vehicle in frontMany drivers underestimate the time and distance it will take to stop the vehicle in a crisis. So make sure you give yourself enough space between you and the vehicle in front. When travelling behind another vehicle allow yourself at least a three second gap. You will need to increase this distance if the driving conditions deteriorate.

3. Adjust your driving to suit the conditions
There are two primary considerations you need to assess when dealing with any road condition. The first is your ability to see, the second is the grip of your tyres.

These are the key factors that govern everything you do behind the wheel and you'll need to compensate if one or both are reduced in any way.

The deciding factor should be that you are not driving beyond what you can see or exceeding your comfort level. The golden rule is, if conditions are deteriorating - slow down.


4. Check your tyre pressure regularlyYour car's tyres are critical to the vehicle's overall performance and to your safety. So you need to make sure that you look after them. Tyre pressures need to be checked weekly, the air pressure in the tyre will dictate how well the car performs and how long the tyres will last.

 

Russell White.
Russell White.

5. Be as smooth as you can with the vehicle's controls
How the vehicle performs dynamically on the road depends on you as the driver. Your actions and how you drive make a big difference. Good driving is all about being smooth and progressive with the vehicle's controls. Harsh and violent steering, aggressive braking and abusing the car in general can contribute to loss of control.

 

6. Driver fitness
The most important to question to ask yourself is, "am I in a fit condition to drive?" Driving requires the person behind the wheel to totally on the ball. It isn't possible to be in this state if you are tired or under the influence of alcohol or drug of some kind. Anything that alters your physical or mental state will affect your ability to control your car.

7. Stay focused
When you're behind the wheel you need to focus on just one job, driving the car.

Everything else is a distraction that could have catastrophic consequences. Programming the satellite navigation unit, putting in a new CD, day dreaming, writing a note in the diary, yelling at the kids, looking at the street map, eating, drinking and using a mobile phone are just a few examples.

Each of these activities takes our focus off the primary task, which is driving the vehicle.

8. Stick to the road rules
Not obeying the road rules is a major contributing factor in many road crashes. Speeding, failing to give way, not stopping at stop signs and running red lights are just a few examples. Remember that the road laws are there for the safety of everyone on the road. They provide structure and a degree of order on our streets, so it's absolutely vital that we drive within the road rules. Not sticking to these rules can be a costly exercise, in more ways than one.


9. Buckle upThere is no disputing the fact that seat beats save lives. Making sure you're wearing your seat belt is arguably the most significant thing you can do to improve your level of safety at the wheel. So make everyone in your car is correctly buckled in.  

10. Maintain the vehicle in a roadworthy condition
A car is like any other piece of machinery in the sense that it will need some basic maintenance in order to keep it working properly. As drivers we need to be familiar with the basics when it comes to checking the cars vital systems.

This includes checking the level of the engine oil, battery, coolant, wind screen washer as well as brake and power steering fluid. Check the owner's manual if you're in any doubt or contact your local dealer's service department.

Russell White's experience in the driver training industry spans more than 24 years. He is widely regarded as one of Australia's leading road safety advocates. His business offers the complete range of driver training and fleet management services, visit driversafety.com.au


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