Dreaming of driving interstate in your newly acquired car? Or perhaps you’re planning to drive your friends to the beach for the day, when you’re in the driver’s seat, you’ll want to be well prepared.
Plan your trip ahead. Planning your trip ahead of time and delegating navigation to one of your friendly passengers will make your trip effortless and lovable. A useful rule of thumb is that leaving 15 minutes earlier can be a reliable approach for any situation. Check your basic safety supplies such as a first aid kit, spare tyre and correct air pressure in all tyres. To learn what your tire pressure should be, look for your manufacturer’s recommendation, which is printed on a label inside your car, a tank full of fuel, contact details for your roadside assistance (if you have one), and a good night’s sleep.
Always stay focused. Try not to let friendly conversation or your mobile phone distract you. Know the rules. Although you’ll want to keep your mobile phone handy for emergencies, avoid accessing it while you drive. Not only does it interfere with your concentration, but it may also get you a ticket. Most important, pull over and take a break if you feel sleepy or drowsy. Studies show that fatigue, circadian rhythm, sleep debt, sleep inertia and microsleeps is a major cause of car crashes. Driving while feeling sleepy or drowsy can affect a driver’s judgment as much as alcohol or drugs can.
Stick to speed limits. It’s easy to lose track of speed limits with the music cranking and suddenly find you’re over the limit. If you go over the speed limit, even by a few kms/hr you can be booked, and it could put your licence at risk. Plus, speeding penalties can run a couple of hundred dollars. You’d be considered a reliable and risk-free driver doing 5-10kms under the speed limit.
Know your licence conditions. Safer limits build confidence. If you are on your provisional P1 or P2, special licence conditions apply. These include speed restrictions passenger numbers, vehicle type, zero blood alcohol, and laws against using mobile phones. All learner and provisional drivers must clearly display their L and P plates on the front and back of the outside of the vehicle – the letters must not be hidden.