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Centre for Road Safety

If you notice that the way you drive has changed it can be useful to adopt some safer driving habits to protect you and others on the road.

Ready to drive

Every time you get in a car make sure you’re ready to drive. The simplest mistakes, such as confusing the brake and accelerator pedals, can lead to serious crashes. Before driving, check your:

  • Seatbelt
  • Handbrake
  • Seat position
  • Pedal position
  • Mirrors

Drive to the conditions

Reduce your speed in bad conditions like rain or fog. This gives you more time to respond to an unexpected event. If  the conditions are really bad, it’s best to not drive at all. If you’re already driving, pull over in a safe place off the road, turn on the hazard lights and wait for the conditions to improve.

Increase your response time

All drivers need to allow a three-second gap when travelling behind another vehicle. If you allow a slightly longer gap you will have more time to respond to other drivers and dangerous situations.

Look for other road users

Before you begin driving, make sure pedestrians and cyclists are away from your vehicle by checking your mirrors, blind spots, sensors and reversing camera.

Drive during the middle of the day

It can be harder to see in the late afternoon sun and at night. If you drive during the middle of the day, you are able to see more clearly and there are fewer cars on the road.

Drive short distances

Plan ahead so you only drive short distances. Drive to the shopping centres closest to you at the least busy times to avoid high-traffic situations.

Share the driving

If you’re planning an outing with family or friends or a long journey, share the driving.

Drive on familiar roads

Before you set out, plan your journey so you drive on familiar roads, and avoid situations you may find difficult such as complex intersections, heavy traffic and high speed roads.

Be well rested

Make sure you have a good night’s sleep and feel alert before driving. This is especially important in the morning, at night and in the early afternoon as many people feel tired at these times. If you feel tired, it’s best to not drive.

Avoid distractions

Turn off mobile phones before you begin driving and avoid distractions so you can focus on driving.

Avoid driving if you are unwell

When you’re not feeling well, your risk of being in a crash increases. Wait until you feel better to drive or see a doctor if you continue to feel unwell.

More information

Developing safer driving habits will help you stay safer on the roads. Choosing the safest vehicle possible and being familiar with the road rules can also improve your safety.