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Driving attitudes to develop: six tips

When it comes to safe driving throughout you life, a good attitude and general approach is not just desirable, it is essential.

1. Set a good example

Children copy their parents. This is as true for driving as for cleaning their teeth. The older they get, the more they evaluate parent’s actions. Avoid the following behaviours that send the wrong message to learners:

  • Speeding – it is not OK to drive at 68 km/h in a 60 zone. Kids aren’t silly, even before they are teenagers they can read the speedometer.
  • Impatience – showing irritation because the lights are red or traffic is slow. Rushing, risk-taking, always cutting corners is a lifestyle that is caught, not taught.
  • Eating, drinking, smoking etc. while driving. (See also ‘Distractions’)
  • Anger – blaming others, when we have made a mistake, does not teach children to take responsibility.

Every driver is a role-model for non-drivers. This is a responsibility that must not be taken lightly, especially in front of children.

Road Safety starts at age THREE!

2. Safe driving is rewarding

It is a fallacy to think that every teenager has to crash to learn a lesson. With a right attitude, taking road safety seriously, you may drive for 30 or more years without serious mishap. Why not promise your teenager a trip, a present or whatever you feel is appropriate, if he/she drives for two years without traffic fines or crashing the car?

3. Allow for other driver’s mistakes

safe driving attitudesIf every driver error would lead to a crash, panel beaters could not keep up with repairs. It often takes two driver’s at the same time and place to make a mistake for a collision to occur.

A car door opens in the path of a cyclist. A classic example where both the driver and the cyclist share the blame.

Before exiting your vehicle check behind for traffic!

Cyclists must allow for doors to open!

4. Give up your rights

The attitude of not insisting on your rights sounds a bit ‘old-fashioned’. Modern thinking teaches assertiveness, which on the battlefields of our jammed-up roads and cities increases the risk of accidents.

Sure, a green light should give you right-of way, but does it? It only does, if the other motorist …sees the red light…knows what it means…presses the correct pedal…which activates brakes that work …to stop tyres that rotate.

‘Right-of-way’ is like a gift under the Christmas tree:
Even with your name on it, it’s not yours until SOMEONE GIVES IT TO YOU!

5. Don’t become complacent

Experiences, good or bad, teaches us many lessons. If a mistake hurts physically or in the hip pocket it usually registers.
However, if a new driver never has any near-misses or emergencies, this may breed complacency. For this reason the first crash often happens to 18 or 19 y.o. teenagers, just after they have come off their p-plates. They survived without major accident, feeling invincible. Too much confidence with too little experience. A dangerous attitude!

Every motorist must aim to keep reviewing, evaluating and improving skills. This is the essence of low-risk driving.

Great site for a crash

Outside one of Adelaide’s main Police Stations – Holden Hill. The intersection is among the top ten of crash sites in Adelaide. The problem is usually vehicles turning right and ignoring, or misjudging, oncoming traffic.

6. It can happen to anyone

Most people think that car crashes happen to someone else. Nobody likes to see their shiny limousine all smashed up or a family member in hospital. But the fact is, the large majority of crashes are caused by the average driver, making a simple error of judgement. ‘It can happen to anyone’ may seem a contradiction to the statement made in attitude two, (that one can drive for 30 years without a crash). But it is meant to express a healthy, determined attitude, that says:

Being on the road is a risk. I am aware of it and TRY EVERYTHING IN MY POWER TO MINIMIZE THE RISK

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