Young Driver Road Safety Video

Below I have posted a you-tube video that was published on 6th May 2016 that I believe has a very important message for all who drive on our roads. I especially recommend that the Parents/Supervisors of young drivers take the time to view the whole video. It will be worth your time.

Video by Dr.Bridie Scott-Parker

Australian Academy of Science

Published on May 6, 2014
Despite a plethora of intervention, young drivers continue to be over-represented in road crashes, a persistent global road safety problem which was first recognised more than 50 years ago. Rather than asking the same questions and thus realising the same answers, Dr Scott-Parker’s innovative approach to improving young driver road safety operationalises holistic, systems thinking, revealing heretofore unrealised potential avenues of intervention. This innovative approach to understanding factors contributing to young driver risk will be described, as will her most recent research findings and implications for intervention across all levels of the young driver road safety system. Dimensions of note are her findings regarding the impact of punishment avoidance, the need to scaffold the learning-to-drive phase, and the identification of a lack of integration and coordination within the young driver road safety system.

 

Two Second Rule

 

In traffic, the distance between your vehicle and the one in front of you is known as the safe headway. Keep a safe headway by ensuring you are at least two seconds behind the vehicle in front.
This is known as the two-second rule. You can use the following steps to check if you are obeying the rule:
On a dry road, choose a point like a lamp post or road sign.
When the vehicle in front passes that point, say out loud “Only a fool breaks the two-second rule”.
Check your position in relation to your chosen point as you finish saying this. If you have already passed the point, you are driving too close to the vehicle in front and need to pull back.
In wet weather, double the distance between your vehicle and the one in front of you by saying “Only a fool breaks the two-second rule” twice.
Remember, never drive closer than indicated by the two-second rule. If you drive too close to the vehicle in front (tailgating) and it brakes suddenly, you may not have enough time to react.
If you run into the vehicle, you will be liable for any damage caused.

2second-rule

Below is an excerpt from Drive Safe (A handbook for Western Australian road users).
Following Distances
You must keep enough distance behind a vehicle that will enable you to stop the vehicle
safely in an emergency – and without running into the vehicle in front.
Most rear end collisions are caused by drivers following too closely behind the
vehicle in front of them.
The space or ‘cushion’ between you and the vehicle in front of you is called the following
distance. To determine how much following distance you should allow, consider the
speed of the traffic and the condition of the road.

Two Second Rule

A way of estimating what is an adequate following distance is to use what is called the ‘two second’ rule.
While driving along the road look at an object by the side of the road, such as a tree or pole,that will soon be passed by the vehicle ahead. As soon as that vehicle passes the object, say to yourself, ‘one thousand and one, one thousand and two’. You should take the full two seconds it takes to say this to reach the object. If you get there before you have said it, you are too close.
Slow down until you are at least two seconds behind the vehicle ahead.
Remember that this ‘two second rule’ is a guide to use in good road, traffic and weather conditions. If they are not good, increase your following distance to
four or five seconds.

Practical Driving Assessment

I often receive phone calls from parents wanting one or two lessons for their child on how to park a car.

They usually tell us that their child knows how to drive but just needs to learn how to park to pass the practical driving assessment.

Many parents are not aware of what is involved in passing today’s Practical Driving Assessment (PDA) or how the Department of Transport Assessors evaluate each PDA.

Today’s post will hopefully provide you with some helpful information and some links to Department of Transport publications.

Be prepared to pass the Practical Driving Assessment.

Many people attending a Practical Driving Assessment do so unprepared without any knowledge of the competency standard required to pass their PDA.

There are a couple of publications provided by the Western Australian Department of Transport to help you understand the required standard to pass the Practical Driving Assessment (PDA).

It is highly recommended that you read these publications as a check list for yourself, to see if you meet the standard.

The links below will direct you to the publications.

Competency Standard

How To Pass Your Driving Assessment (Booklet)

Below are examples from the How To Pass Your Driving Assessment (Booklet) of how the Practical Driving Assessment is marked for each criteria. On the assessment paper you will receive a Green Tickwhen all conditions are met or a Red X if they are not.

EXAMPLE 1

LOOK BEHIND

Green TickWhen all conditions are met.                                            Red X   When any of these occur

Directs eyes towards the appropriate rear side window (head check) immediately before the vehicle starts to enter a position that a following vehicle could also enter. Fails to do a head check immediately before the vehicle starts to enter a position that a following vehicle could also enter.Does a head check more than two seconds before the vehicle alters course.
Directs eyes to the appropriate mirror at regular intervals. Fails to direct eyes to the appropriate mirror at regular intervals.
Directs eyes to the appropriate mirror at least 5 – 10 seconds before starting to turn or diverge. Fails to direct eyes to the appropriate mirror at least 5 – 10 seconds before turning or diverging.
Directs eyes in the appropriate directions prior to, and at intervals while reversing. Fails to direct eyes in the appropriate directions prior to, and at intervals while reversing.

EXAMPLE 2

SIGNAL

Green TickWhen all conditions are met.                                            Red X   When any of these occur

When leaving a parked position the indicator is on for five seconds before moving. Fails to use or operate the indicator for less than five seconds before moving from a parked position.
When moving, turns on the appropriate indicator sufficiently to signal intention before turning or diverging. Fails to use or does not operate the indicator sufficiently to signal intention before turning or diverging.
Keeps the indicator on until the manoeuvre is completed. Cancels the indicator before most of the vehicle has entered the new lane or position.
The indicator is cancelled within three flashes of the manoeuvre being completed. The indicator is not cancelled after four flashes of the manoeuvre being completed.

EXAMPLE 3

FLOW

Green TickWhen all conditions are met.                                            Red X   When any of these occur

Starts the manoeuvre promptly. Does not respond to an instruction. Is very slow starting or misses opportunities to start a manoeuvre.
Proceeds continuously through the parts of the manoeuvre. Stumbles or pauses performing parts of the manoeuvre.
Proceeds directly through a series of manoeuvres. Falters joining manoeuvres together.
Fits in with other traffic. Inconveniences or unnecessarily slows or holds up other road users when doing a manoeuvre.
Complies with the rules for stop signs, give way signs, traffic signals, and right of way. Does not comply with the rules for stop signs, give way signs, traffic signals, and right of way.
Drives without assistance. Asks for, or requires, help to perform any manoeuvre.
Adjusts controls as situations change. Continues with the same driving pattern even though situations are changing.
Directs eyes to hazards posing an immediate threat. Keeps head and eyes directed forward when approaching hazards to the side.
Smoothly adjusts to a safe speed in the presence of threats to safety. Adopts a speed that would prevent the driver from avoiding a collision with road users who are not complying with the law or with safe and reasonable driving.
Uses a suitable, safe and legal low-speed manoeuvre for the location. Uses an unsuitable,

EXAMPLE 4

MOVEMENT

Green TickWhen all conditions are met.                                            Red X   When any of these occur

Moves in the desired direction. Travels in the wrong direction for more than 30 cm.
Vehicle moves smoothly and remains stable when movement is initiated and adjusted. Passengers are required to put effort into remaining stable when movement is initiated and adjusted.
Varies speed appropriately throughout the manoeuvre. Travels too quickly, or drives excessively slowly for any part of the manoeuvre.
Travels within the speed limit. Exceeds the speed limit, or drives excessively slowly in normal traffic conditions.
Stops accurately. Stops before or beyond desired stopping point.
Remains stopped as necessary. Does not keep vehicle stationary when necessary.
Stops at a safe and legal point. Stops in an unsafe or illegal position.
Maintains a safe following distance. Does not maintain a safe following distance.

EXAMPLE 5

PATH

Green TickWhen all conditions are met.                                           Red X   When any of these occur

Tracks accurately in manoeuvres, curves and on straight roads. Steers inaccurately, or follows a path that uses more or less steering input than is appropriate for the manoeuvre.
Keeps the vehicle stable during changes of direction. Steering tends to unbalance passengers.
Travels centrally in the lane (where lanes are marked). Travels over or near line markings unnecessarily.
Uses the most travelled section of road. Adopts a position on the road not normally followed by other road users.
Follows a legal path. Travels an illegal path.
Uses steering well and at the appropriate time. Fails to use steering well and uses steering inappropriately.
Adopts a path that suits the environment. Adopts a path that places the vehicle unnecessarily close to a series of hazards.

EXAMPLE 6

RESPONSIVENESS

Green TickWhen all conditions are met.                                            Red X   When any of these occur

Adopts a speed that suits the environment. Drives too fast to respond to the hazards safe drivers could expect in the environment.
Shows courtesy to other road users. Does not drive courteously or has no attention to spare to consider acting courteously to other drivers in busy or adverse traffic situations; selfishly maintains his/her own right of way and passage at the expense of other road users.
Is aware of traffic conditions well beyond the immediate vicinity. Concentrates upon, and reacts to, issues only in the immediate vicinity or directly related to the car in front.

EXAMPLE 7

VEHICLE MANAGEMENT

Green TickWhen all conditions are met.                                           Red X   When any of these occur

Makes sure the cabin and occupants are safe. Ignores things affecting cabin safety.
Mirrors are adjusted for the best view of following traffic. Mirrors do not provide the best view of following traffic.
Adopts and maintains an effective driving posture. Adopts a driving posture that is not good for controlling the vehicle.
Responds appropriately to the vehicles instruments. Does not respond to warnings or important information displayed by the vehicles instruments.
Uses switches as required. Does not use switches as required.
Steers and uses the gears in a way that promotes control. Uses the steering or gears in a way that reduces control of the vehicle.

Fatigue

 Fatigue Kills         She was asleep

Fatigue results in thousands of crashes every year.

What do we mean by ‘fatigue’?

You are fatigued when you become tired and can’t concentrate on your driving. You may even fall asleep at the wheel.

Fatigue is a factor in about 25% of crashes and in almost one-third of rural single vehicle crashes.

Most fatigue related crashes occur during normal sleeping hours.

Fatigue related crashes seem to relate more to what drivers do before they set out, than to the driving task itself. Lack of sleep is a critical factor. Fatigue can be a killer even on short trips.

How do we know?

Unlike alcohol related crashes, there are no simple tests to determine if fatigue was a cause in a crash. Investigators suspect fatigue as a cause when:

  • The crash occurs late at night, early in the morning or late in the afternoon.
  • A single car has run off the roadway.
  • Nothing Indicates the driver tried to avoid the crash (e.g., no skid marks).

Everybody needs sleep and we all have our own patterns of sleepiness and wakefulness.

Fatigue (sometimes referred to as drowsiness or sleepiness) causes crashes because it slows down the driver’s reaction times and affects their scanning abilities and information processing skills.

Fatigue can strike any driver but you are at greater risk as a young person if you:

  • Combine heavy study or work with leisure and late night socialising.
  • Change your sleep patterns and reduce night time sleep.
  • Drink alcohol and/or use other drugs.

Managing fatigue is like many other health issues: prevention is better than a cure!

There are many warning signs for fatigue, a combination of any of the following signals that the driver is becoming fatigued and needs to take a break:

  • Yawning.
  • Eyes feeling sore or heavy.
  • Vision starting to blur.
  • Start seeing things.
  • Daydreaming and not concentrating.
  • Becoming impatient.
  • Feeling hungry or thirsty.
  • Reactions seem slow.
  • Feeling stiff or cramped.
  • Driving speed creeps up or down.
  • Starting to make poor gear changes.
  • Wandering over the centre line or onto the road edge.

Here are some ideas to fatigue minimise when you are driving:

  • Plan to get sufficient and regular sleep.
  • Most people need around 7-8 hours in every 24 hour period. Making do with less sleep will affect your driving.
  • If you are sleepy or tired don’t drink even small amounts of alcohol. Alcohol acts as a depressant on the central nervous system and can make you feel even more tired and less alert.
  • Try not to drive during your normal sleeping hours. Your body works in a rhythm or pattern and when you upset this rhythm it can badly affect you.
  • If possible take a taxi or a lift with another person rather than driving during your normal sleep times. (You can always pick your car up in the morning if you have to).
  • Think about what activity you were doing before the drive. If it was physically or mentally demanding then fatigue may ‘kick in’ within a few minutes of beginning the trip.
  • Know the signs that indicate you are tired.
  • If you are fatigued, you must stop driving. Let a passenger drive or take a short ‘power nap’ before continuing with the trip.

There is really only one way to prevent and manage fatigue: have a sleep.

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Roundabouts Western Australia

Roundabouts Western Australia

This information has been published as an easy-to-read guide to the WA Road Traffic Act (1974) and Road Traffic Code 2000. It is not intended to be a ‘legal document and for exact statements of the law you should refer to the Act and Code.
A complete version of the Road Traffic Act 1974 and Road Traffic Code 2000 may be obtained by visiting the State Law Publishers web site at: www.slp.wa.gov.au For more road safety information telephone 138 138 or visit www.ors.wa.gov.au

WHY ROUNDABOUTS?

Roundabouts help regulate traffic at intersections. They increase safety by slowing the approach speed of all vehicles, thereby reducing the number and severity of crashes. Pedestrians should cross roads away from roundabouts because traffic flow through roundabouts is usually continuous making it difficult for pedestrians to cross safely.

HOW TO USE ROUNDABOUTS

Roundabouts are easy to use. Simply position your vehicle correctly and indicate where you want to go. The following basic principles apply to all roundabouts.
Keeping left
When driving around roundabouts you must keep left of the central island at all times. If you intend to change lanes in a roundabout then you must signal your intention to do so. However, it is safer to position your vehicle in the correct lane before you enter a roundabout so that you do not have to change lanes.

Giving way

At a roundabout, you must:
• Always travel in a clockwise direction; and
• When entering the roundabout, give way to all vehicles travelling within the roundabout. Remember that large vehicles such as buses and trucks may need more than one lane to enter or leave a roundabout.
Turning left at next exit
At a roundabout you must:
• Approach from the left lane;
• Indicate left;
• Stay in the left lane; and
• Exit in the left lane.
Driving straight through a roundabout
• You do not have to indicate when you are approaching the roundabout;
• Unless road markings or signs say otherwise, approach from either the left or right lane and drive in that lane throughout the roundabout;
• Signal left, if practicable, just after you have passed the last exit before the one you wish to use; and
• Exit in the same lane in which you entered (that is, in the left lane if you entered in the left lane and in the right lane if you entered in the right lane).
Turning right or making a ‘U’ turn
• When turning right or making a ‘U’ turn, approach from the right lane;
• Indicate right before entering the roundabout;
• Stay in the right lane; and
• Signal left, if practicable, just after you have passed the last exit before the one you wish to use.

Signs at roundabouts

Roundabouts are intersections where there is a central island around which vehicles travel in one direction. There is normally a Roundabout Sign at each entrance. Some roundabouts have more than one lane on approach roads and arrows on the road to let you know what direction you must travel through the roundabout. Some also have advance warning signs to warn you the roundabout is ahead. If there are arrows marked on the road surface you must drive in the direction they indicate.

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Has your son or daughter just got a learner’s permit?

Has your son or daughter just got a learner’s permit? The scary thought Is that now you will be sitting alongside them while they drive you around.
Your life in their hands!

Before you get started on the practice drives with your learner driver there are a few things you could consider.
• Learner drivers are among the safest drivers on the road, they rarely have crashes.
• However within the first six months of gaining a provisional licence they have gone from being the safest group of drivers to the most unsafe.
• In Australia drivers aged between 17 and 25 make up slightly more than 15% of the total population, yet they represent around 32% of serious crash casualties.

What can explain this?
Driving looks easy but, like many other activities, it takes a long time to master. There is a lot to learn.
Experienced drivers can automatically put together all of the skills needed to be a safe driver, such as:
• applying the brakes, clutch, gears;
• interpreting and applying the road rules;
• making decisions about where and when to go, and
• how to look out for things that may cause problems and then dealing with them.

New drivers spend a lot of time and attention on the physical skills required for driving, (braking, steering etc.) and forget about the other things that are most important in terms of safety.
Researchers suggest that it takes more than 100 hours of practice for a learner to be able to do things automatically. Having plenty of driving practice is essential for every learner.

Before your learner takes to the driver’s seat,
• Read as much as you can about ‘Learning to Drive’ and your role as the person who supervises the driving practice session. As your child learns to drive, make sure they practise on all types of roads and in all kinds of weather and driving conditions.
Make sure the first time they have to deal with a tricky driving situation isn’t when they are on their own as a P driver.
• Find a professional driver trainer with whom you and your learner feel comfortable. The instructor will be important for teaching safe driving techniques and correcting any mistakes.
You will be working with this driver trainer for a long time to make sure your learner knows how to apply the road rules, recognise risks and hazards, and to see safe driving as important. Make yourself known to the trainer – and it’s a good idea for you to sit in on some lessons.
• Don’t try to rush the learner. Expect them to take a long time to put together all the skills required for safe driving – that’s why the learner licence is valid for a long period.
• Plan lessons so that at first your learner is doing lots of driving practice in quiet local streets. After a while you can go out into busier and more complex streets and at different times of the day.
By the time they are ready to go solo they should have driven on all types of roads and under all types of conditions.
Be prepared to put your learner behind the wheel at every opportunity – even short local trips that take just a few minutes. All experiences add up and help make your learner a safer driver once they go solo.

Tips for the Supervisor 1a

Tips for the Supervisor 1b

Credit – pdf’s used by permission – Australian Driver Trainers Association Australia (NSW) and the Australian Transport Safety Bureau

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Tailgating

Tailgating

I was driving between lessons the other day listening to talk-back radio. The topic was tailgating and how there is a real problem with it in Bunbury and that drivers don’t  know the correct distance to follow another vehicle.
Listening to the people calling in, I was amazed that so many people had no idea as to how to judge a safe following distance.
I parked my car and called the radio station and referred them to page 49 of Drive Safe (A handbook for Western Australian road users).
This book is available to any member of the public free of charge from any Dept of Transport office and Regional Shire Offices.
As a result of what I heard on the radio, I decided to write this post.

In traffic, the distance between your vehicle and the one in front of you is known as the safe headway. Keep a safe headway by ensuring you are at least two seconds behind the vehicle in front.
This is known as the two-second rule. You can use the following steps to check if you are obeying the rule:
On a dry road, choose a point like a lamp post or road sign.
When the vehicle in front passes that point, say out loud “Only a fool breaks the two-second rule”.
Check your position in relation to your chosen point as you finish saying this. If you have already passed the point, you are driving too close to the vehicle in front and need to pull back.
In wet weather, double the distance between your vehicle and the one in front of you by saying “Only a fool breaks the two-second rule” twice.
Remember, never drive closer than indicated by the two-second rule. If you drive too close to the vehicle in front (tailgating) and it brakes suddenly, you may not have enough time to react.
If you run into the vehicle, you will be liable for any damage caused.

2second-rule

Below is an excerpt from Drive Safe (A handbook for Western Australian road users).
Following Distances
You must keep enough distance behind a vehicle that will enable you to stop the vehicle
safely in an emergency – and without running into the vehicle in front.
Most rear end collisions are caused by drivers following too closely behind the
vehicle in front of them.
The space or ‘cushion’ between you and the vehicle in front of you is called the following
distance. To determine how much following distance you should allow, consider the
speed of the traffic and the condition of the road.

The Two Second Rule

A way of estimating what is an adequate following distance is to use what is called the ‘two second’ rule.
While driving along the road look at an object by the side of the road, such as a tree or pole,that will soon be passed by the vehicle ahead. As soon as that vehicle passes the object, say to yourself, ‘one thousand and one, one thousand and two’. You should take the full two seconds it takes to say this to reach the object. If you get there before you have said it, you are too close.
Slow down until you are at least two seconds behind the vehicle ahead.
Remember that this ‘two second rule’ is a guide to use in good road, traffic and weather conditions. If they are not good, increase your following distance to
four or five seconds.