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How to Be a Safe Driver: Your Complete Guide

Driving drunk or drowsy is a serious issue all over the world. It can lead to numerous unfortunate incidents. Even on the best day, one may still sustain damage to their vehicle, and those are some pretty hefty investments. 

The VicRoads safe driving program started in 1986 has been an incredible initiative that has helped reduce these mishaps. After all, even today, Victoria sees close to 4 accidents per registered vehicle

So, here are safe driving tips to prevent the occurrence of a road accident.

1. Practice Defensive Driving

Defensive driving is the adoption of accident-avoidance tactics to prioritise driving safely. To practice defensive driving, the driver must be aware of what the other drivers are doing around them.

It is always reasonable to presume that other drivers will do something unusual. Hence the driver should always be prepared to prevent it. The driver must maintain a 2-second buffer between their vehicle and the vehicle in front of them. The driver should raise this cushion to 4 seconds during bad weather.

2. Maintain Control of the Car All the Time

Drivers must maintain both hands on the steering wheel. This includes not driving while distracted and not fidgeting with the radio or air conditioning. It is critical to keep their eyes on the road and to check the rearview and side mirrors often. At any point, the driver should be prepared to brake or accelerate.

In essence, the driver must maintain complete control over the vehicle. Mishaps often occur due to a lack of attention, whether on or off the road or an improper reaction to an unforeseen on-road event. Being in control increases the likelihood of avoiding an accident.

3. Follow All of the Road Rules

Most accidents can be prevented by simply adhering to traffic rules. These include things like:

  • Keeping to the speed limit
  • Remembering to wear a seatbelt
  • Appropriately signalling while turning and merging
  • Keeping a safe distance from the vehicles in front
  • Not driving when inebriated or drowsy

Road regulations exist for a reason. They are designed to keep everyone on the road safe by mandating steady and predictable driving. So, by adhering to road regulations, drivers may not only avoid traffic violations but also increase traffic safety.

4. Create Safe Driving Plans 

These are personalised guidelines that each driver can follow to prevent getting into an accident and ending up in a VicRoads safe driving program. Some examples include:

  • Building time into a travel itinerary to stop for meals, rest breaks, phone calls, or other business.
  • Before shifting into gear, check the seat, headlights, mirrors and climate settings.
  • Pulling over to eat or drink.
  • Securing goods that could move while the car is moving.
  • Making no attempt to retrieve goods that have fallen to the floor.
  • Keep toll fees, toll cards, and garage passes close to hand.

Practising safe driving is vital for anyone handling a motor vehicle. An accident can often result in death or, at the least, some form of injury that can take very long to heal. Hence, prevention is always better than cure when handling a motor vehicle. 

Practising defensive driving, following road rules, having control of the vehicle and creating a personalised driving plan is quite beneficial. After all, losing one’s license can be not only humiliating but also quite inconvenient. 


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