When it comes to being a safe driver, it all comes down to the fundamentals, according to Russell White.
Russell, who has years of experience helping Australian drivers become safer and better skilled, is the head of the Australian Road Safety Foundation and the founder of the annual Fatality Free Friday road safety campaign.
A long-time friend of Behind the Wheel, Russell has shared these five common sense tips with us on how we can all be safer drivers:
- Assess whether you really are fit to drive. Have you been drinking? Are you fatigued? Perhaps you are in the wrong mindset to be taking to the roads? Russell says often road safety starts before you even get in the car.
- Stay focussed. Yes, this means keeping that smartphone out of reach and out of mind. Also, there are other distractions to be mindful of, these can include adjusting the radio, programming the sat-nav, or playing with the climate controls. Even eating or talking to a passenger can prove surprisingly distracting.
- Drive to the conditions. This means that you need to assess what is happening around you. Is it raining? Are the roads especially busy? Maybe you are driving and its around school pick-up or drop-off time? Thinking about what’s going on around you and how this could affect how you have to drive, is vitally importantly.
- Keep a good distance from other vehicles. Yes, there is the 3 second rule, but overall it is a great idea to remember that the more distance you have, the more time you have to avoid a collision.
- Don’t forget the basics. Keep your car properly serviced and make sure your tyres, lights and wipers are all up to the job. Always wear your seat-belt, take rest breaks and stick to those road rules.
Russell says if we all just adhered to these five better driving tips, well, lives would be saved and a whole lot of grief could be avoided.