Don't speed Lessons Note

Speeding is a primary cause of injuries and deaths on Australian roads. Speeding refers to exceeding the speed limit or driving too fast for the driving conditions. In adverse road conditions, you may be speeding even if you’re driving below the posted speed limit.

Speeding is dangerous because you (and others) have less time to react and the vehicle is harder to control. As a result, injuries are more severe and involved persons are more likely to die.

Speeding by 5 km/h can mean the difference between safely avoiding a pedestrian and a fatal crash

Safe speeding doesn’t exist. An increase of just 5 km/h greatly increases the stopping distance. For example, you will hit a pedestrian 40m ahead at roughly 20-30 km/h if you travel at 65 km/h compared to approximately 0-5 km/h if you travel at 60 km/h.

Near people, parked cars and shops

Slow down and stay alert to potential hazards when nearing a busy parking area or shop

Parked cars can pull out suddenly, and pedestrians can step out from between parked cars. Drive with care in all parking lots, and especially those with an obstructed view around corners.

When driving near parked car, look for indications that a car may pull out in front of you. For example that the ignition is turned on or a turni,ng movement of the front wheels

Slow down in bad conditions (road, weather or light)

It’s your responsibility to decide on a safe speed based on the conditions. You’re never allowed to go faster than the speed limit, but you may drive slower.

Weather affects your driving

Bright sunlight (e.g. at dawn or dusk) can make it difficult to see the road ahead. Slow down, and use the sun visor and/or a pair of sunglasses. It may also be difficult to see if driving in heavy rain, fog, mist, frost or snow.

If conditions are dangerous, pull over and wait until they improve.

Curves or crests

Slow down when approaching situations where your vision is limited.

This sign indicates that you're approaching a crest and won't be able to see a safe distance in front of you

Unpredictable road surfaces

Unsealed roads with shifting or loose surfaces are more challenging to drive on, e.g. roads with potholes, ruts, slippery surfaces and loose gravel.

Always adjust your driving and speed to the conditions of the road you’re driving on. Controlling the vehicle is more challenging on these roads, and the braking distance will be much longer. It’s especially important to enter curves/bends at safe speeds on these roads.

Dust from other vehicles may conceal hazards on the road, and mud splashed on your windows can limit your visibility further.

This sign warns of a rough road surface ahead

Slippery roads

Mud, rain, frost and ice cause slippery roads. When wet or corrugated, an unsealed road can become very slippery with even greater stopping distances and further reduced road holding.

Be extra careful just as it starts to rain. Initially, rain will make any road slippery due to the oil and dirt that is washed to the surface. The oil and dirt can cause skidding until further rain washes it away. Slow down and keep a safe distance to any vehicle ahead of you.

This sign warns of a slippery road ahead

Near animals and stock

Animals are unpredictable and can rush onto the road.

If there is a possibility of unfenced stock or wildlife, slow down and look out for movement near the road.

Some animals are more active at dusk and dawn.

This sign warns for the presence of kangaroos

Narrow roads

Drive cooperatively and allow approaching vehicles to pass if the road isn’t wide enough to fit two vehicles. Don’t stop near narrow road sections.

In the country, many crashes occur because of running off the bitumen with 1 or 2 wheels and, as a result, over-correcting or braking too hard. If you run off the road, take your foot off the accelerator, hold the steering wheel firmly with both hands and ease the wheels back onto the road. Don’t brake too hard.

If you have to move a wheel off the bitumen (e.g. when passing on a narrow road), you should slow down gently in advance and carefully steer back onto the bitumen when safe to do so.

This sign warns that the road narrows

Steering technique

To properly control your vehicle, it’s important to have the correct steering technique. A good technique will lead to smooth driving. When steering, you should:

  • avoid jerky movements by steering smoothly
  • avoid driving too fast when steering as this may cause you to lose control over your vehicle. Instead, reduce your speed and accelerate once the vehicle begins to straighten
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