Road Safety FAQs in Australia

Road Safety

Below are some Road Safety FAQs in Australia to make your driving holiday in Australia more enjoyable and safer:

Is an international driver’s licence needed to drive in Australia?

Yes. Driving in Australia requires a valid international driving permit. This must be accompanied by the driver’s licence that was issued in the country in which you live.

On which side of the street do Australians drive?

On two-way roads in Australia, drivers keep on the left side. If you are not used to driving on the left, ask your travelling companions to remind you each time you set off and while making a turn at an intersection. Where possible, always use pedestrian crossings and when crossing the street, remember to look to the right, then to the left and to the right again.

Can a car be hired in Australia?

Renting a car can be tremendously cost effective when travelling around Australia by road. However, there are some common requirements right across the car rental industry when you are renting a car in Australia. These include having a valid driver’s licence, a passport for identification purpose and a credit card to use as a type of security.

The majority of major global car rental companies can be found in Australia, including Thrifty, Hertz, Avis, Europcar and Budget.

Is not wearing a seatbelt illegal?

Yes. Wearing a seatbelt is required for the driver and all passengers in the vehicle. It is also required that children under the age of 7 be placed in a child restraint that is suitable for the size and weight of the child.

What are the speed limits in Australia?

In Australia, speed limits are enforced strictly. The speed limit is basically the maximum speed allowed on a particular road and this should be adhered to at all times. There are some roads that are without visible speed limit signs; however, the speed limit still applies. You should be particularly careful in school zones and in residential areas.

What are the rules governing driving and drinking alcohol?

Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs is hazardous and Australia has extremely serious penalties for those caught doing so. While driving in Australia, you are not allowed to operate a vehicle with blood alcohol level at 0.05 per cent or above.

Those with a provisional or probationary driver’s licence should have a zero blood alcohol level when driving. Driving after drug use that affects your driving ability is illegal and severe penalties are attached.

Can my mobile phone be used while driving?

No. When driving, you are not allowed to use handheld mobile phones. This includes receiving or making calls, browsing the web, texting or playing games.

Do Australia’s roads have rest areas?

Travelling long distances in Australia is common. Therefore, planning your journey to include rest breaks is wise. It is also smart to ensure you have sufficient petrol for your trip. There are rest areas conveniently located every 80 to 100 kilometres (49 to 62 miles) on main roads and highways.

If your goal is to get your driving license as quickly as possible, Defensive Driving can help you achieve that goal whether you are driving a manual or automatic car.

Common Driving Mistakes!

Driving Mistakes

Common Driving Mistakes!

It doesn’t matter how skilled someone is we are all bound to make mistakes and here are some of them:

1. Driving around on Tire Pressure that’s Low

Having the correct tire pressure is important for driving safety. Incorrect pressure can affect your car’s handling, braking, fuel economy, your comfort while riding and the life of your tires. Tire pressure is measured in pounds per square inch (psi) and each manufacturer recommends the best psi for their vehicles.

2. Running your car on the Wrong Fuel

By using higher octane fuel where lower is specified, you will create no problems with your engine. It does not (by popular belief) add any power to your engine, but will not harm it at all. Worst case scenario is you’ve just wasted some money by buying the more expensive fuel.

The best kind of octane is that one which your manufacturer recommends to make sure that things do function as they should.

Driving Mistakes

3. Adjusting your, Rear and Side-View, mirrors properly

You should make sure that your rear view mirror has the full view of the back window. It is especially important that the driver sets the mirror in such a way that their eyes and not their head moves when checking this mirror.

Each of the side mirrors should be adjusted wide enough to be able to gain fully view of any blind spots. The mirrors should have some part of the side of the car in its view.

4. Going Slow In the Overtaking Lane

There are regular highway/freeway drivers out there that do know the frustration that is associated with getting behind someone who is holding up traffic on the fast lane, and on occasions doing this by travelling at ridiculously slow speeds. It is important to note that on the Freeways it is illegal to travel 20 km below the speed limit when traffic is free flowing.

If you are found not doing the required speed and thereby interrupting the flow of traffic you can be fined.

When driving always consider other road users and consider the effect your action will have on others, driving is like a team sport (with the only difference being) that we are all playing for this same team and the need to look out for each other to reach our goal (destination) safely is paramount.

5. Going Too Fast

Speeding or rushing is simply not the best way to drive and the results of that is:

1) Greater chance of an accident
2) Reduced reaction time
3) Increased braking distance
4) Increased fuel consumption
5) Increased maintenance cost

6. Use of Headlights

It’s always good to switch on your lights at dawn, dusk and during bad weather and obviously at night. Studies have shown that keeping them on at all times can help to reduce the chances of having a collision by up to 10%.

Keeping your light on for safety far outweighs the cost of replacing a blown light globe.

7. Sitting Position behind the Wheel

Some drivers feel more comfortable with the extra leg room by sitting too far back, but this can cause a real lack of control and delayed reaction time when something out of the ordinary occurs.

8. The Switching of Lanes

Switching lanes at the last minute to make a left or right turn can be very dangerous. It is important to have the signals on for at least 30 meters which is about the time required for other road users to work out what it is you intend doing.

Driving Mistakes

9. Amber/Yellow lights – Stop if it’s Safe to do so

  • If from a distance the light is Green, plan your approach i.e.
  • Tell yourself, from a distance – if it turns amber I will stop –
  • Keep repeating this until you get closer to the lights and if it is still green –
  • Tell yourself, if it turns amber I will go
  • If you do have to stop suddenly for whatever reason, you MUST (I can’t emphasis this enough) check your rear view mirror to see if it is safe to do so.

10. Paying Attention to Signs

This is very helpful especially if you are in unfamiliar territory, signs take away a lot of the guess work. If you see a sign take note of it, because there may be a need for you to use it.

11. Driving Through Too Much Water

If it’s a large puddle make every effort to go around it rather than through it, if you have to go through it do it with caution just as you would with debris, branches or anything out of the ordinary.

Damage to the vehicle could be expensive, so be careful

We thank you for taking the time to read through this and the other entire articles that we have published and would welcome an queries you may have in regards to driving and/or being safe on the road.

Please call Defensive Driving School for any information you may need, we are here to help.

How to Pass Your Driving Test

Tips for Passing your Drivers Test

If you want to pass your driving test, you should make sure that you know the most common reasons that people fail so that you can avoid making these mistakes.

List of the most common mistakes

Below is a list of the most common mistakes that people make when taking their driving test. Since the most experienced and proficient drivers often make some of these mistakes at one time or another, it is important that you are careful not to make them during your driving test.

Failure to stop at a Stop Sign: When you come to a stop sign, you must come to a COMPLETE stop. You should wait for a second or two before you continue to drive. If you stop short of the stop line, you should move up to the line and then come to another complete stop.

Excessive Speed: Excessive speed can result in a failure. You don’t want to go any more than 5k over the speed limit.

Not Doing Head Checks: When you are moving away from the kerb, when you change lanes, when you merge, or when you move into a path or deviate from a path, you should do a complete head check. Avoiding head checks can result in a serious accident and it will result in a potential failure.

Not checking if the Vehicle is Road-Worthy: Before getting in the vehicle, you should check your tyres, lights, and mirrors.

Causing a Potential Crisis: If you do something on the road that could result in a traffic crisis, you could fail your test.

The Inability to Perform Any Part of the Test: When you take your test, you will be required to drive forward, to turn, to back up, to parallel park, and to master bay parking. If you cannot do something that is required, you could fail.

Failure to Give-Way at Give-Way Lines: If you come to a give-way line and you don’t stop if another vehicle is coming, it could result in a failure.

Losing Control of the Vehicle: If you cannot control your vehicle, you could fail your test. This could be stalling the vehicle, switching to the wrong gear, rolling backward, and coasting or riding your clutch. If you don’t steer properly, if you over rev your engine, and if you cannot use your windshield wipers, you could also fail.

Drivers Test
There are certain critical errors that can be made that will cause you to fail immediately. Minor errors may not result in a failure, however, if you make too many small mistakes, it can result in a failure.

Failure to Signal: You should signal 5 seconds before you reach the kerb. It should be about 30 metres before you turn if it is possible. You also need to properly signal at roundabouts. You should make sure that your signal has canceled within 3 flashes after taking your turn.

Giving the Instructor a Reason to Intervene: If the assessor needs to intervene during the test to keep you from getting into an accident, you will fail.

Failure to Obey Traffic Laws: If you don’t obey the traffic laws, road marking, and regulatory signs, there is a good chance that you will fail

Inability to Follow Direction: If you cannot follow any of the directions given to you by your assessor, you could fail.

You should understand that the driving test is very structured. Many people think that they will fail by making the wrong maneuver one. Oftentimes, you can get another attempt before you fail.

It is important that you practice driving and improve your skill. Unlike the maneuvers, you only get one chance to get your driving technique correct. If you make a driving error, it often cannot be rectified.

Drivers Test
If your goal is to get your driving license as quickly as possible, Defensive Driving can help you achieve that goal whether you are driving a manual or automatic car.

Reasons Why You Won’t Be Allowed to Take Your Driver’s Test

There are a few reasons why you would be prohibited from taking your driving test on your scheduled date.

• Insufficient ID
• If your logbook isn’t filled out correctly
• If your vehicle is not road-worthy (burned out or cracked lights, bad tires, seat belts that don’t work, a cracked windscreen, etc.)
• If your vehicle doesn’t have dual controls, it must have a handbrake mounted in the center.
• If you are late for your scheduled appointment. You should arrive 10 minutes early.

Driving Test in Perth

The driving test in WA takes an average of 35 minutes. During this time, you will need to drive to the best of your ability. You need to avoid making mistakes. You need to drop any bad driving habits that you may have before taking your test.

There are certain critical errors that can be made that will cause you to fail immediately. Minor errors may not result in a failure, however, if you make too many small mistakes, it can result in a failure.

If your goal is to get your driving license as quickly as possible, Defensive Driving School can help you achieve that goal whether you are driving a manual or automatic car. They have proven to be a responsible training organization where thousands of students every year achieve their goals in obtaining their driving licenses.