Australia’s roads are busier than ever and careful driving and riding is key to protecting yourself and other drivers. Read our checklists for car safety and motorcycle safety to stay safe on the roads.
Speeding, drink driving, fatigue and failing to wear a seat belt all continue to put drivers at risk. We also found that 13,500 accidents happen around traffic lights a year. In addition, poor merging skills, tail-gating, in-car distractions such as mobile phones and entertainment systems, and even driver frustration levels are key contributors to crashes.
Take these basic precautions to stay safe on the road
- Driver fatigue is a factor in one in five road fatalities, so make sure you take regular breaks on long trips - ideally 15 minutes every 2 hours
- Slow down on the roads, observe the speed limit and set a good example for our young drivers
- Do not drink and drive. If you are planning on drinking, leave the car at home
- Be aware of stopping distances and leave enough of a gap between you and the vehicle in front. If you drive an older car, the gap needs to be greater as it's going to take you longer to stop.
- Driving and texting don't mix. If you need to send a message on your mobile phone when you're in the car, stop somewhere safe to send it
- Remember to use headlights in wet or poor weather. It makes it easier for others to see you
- When approaching a roundabout, give way to traffic already on the roundabout and indicate left when leaving
- At traffic lights, an amber light means prepare to stop unless it is not safe to do so
- Watch out for pedestrians at all times and give way to them before making a turn at an intersection
- Adjust the top of your head restraint to eye level or higher. It will help prevent a whiplash injury
- The rear seat is the safest place for children of any age to ride in a car
- Leave your radio on when travelling through major tunnels so you can hear any emergency broadcasts
Riding a motorcycle is far more difficult than driving a car. The most important safety tip we can offer is that you get training to learn and develop the skills you need to ride safely. The licensing authority in your state can help you find an accredited training centre.
5 tips for a safer ride
- Wear visible, protective clothing like gloves, a jacket, long pants and boots, as well as your helmet
- Know your limitations and those of your motorcycle
- Always assume other road users haven’t seen you. A motorbike can accelerate and close distance quickly - never be where a vehicle driver won’t expect you to be
- Beware of fatigue. When you start to become tired, you can’t concentrate properly or respond quickly and safely
- Be aware of your speed, especially in relation to other vehicles around you