Posted in Defensive Driving
Defensive Driving Tips
After 20 years of driving 4WDs on bush tracks and dirt roads in the NT, I think I have learnt a few things about making the drive safer! Defensive driving will help you make your road trips safer. Firstly, the attitude of the driver is paramount, a defensive driver does:
- Takes time to inspect vehicle road worthiness
- Ensures every person wears seat belts
- Secures loads especially in cabin in case of rollover
- Aware of fatigue & takes breaks
- Drive within speed limits
- Does not take on other drivers problems, calm manner not aggressive
- When in doubt slow down or do not proceed
- The speed limit is Not a target
- Acceleration: increase speed smoothly, not aggressively
- Braking: Leave a four-second gap between you and vehicle in front. On unsealed road this should be five seconds
- Cornering: Slow down before entering corner, gentle acceleration. 4WD course dates.
Understanding the braking system is very important to a defensive driver. The stopping distance of a vehicle will depends on:
- Drivers reaction time
- Surface type, sealed, dirt, wet, slippery, sandy
- Tyre wear & type
- Braking system – ABS prevents front wheel lock up therefore steering is improved
- Braking technique for NON ABS brakes, feathering or pulsating to prevent wheel lock
Fatigue whilst driving a 4 wheel drive is very common and is the silent killer. If you have or feel any of the following symptoms, pull over and have a rest. Driver fatigue robs you of normal concentration, anticipation and reaction time.
- Loss of interest
- Tired eyes
- Blurring of vision
- Increases chance of accident
A defensive driving course will look at the hazards and change your driving habits so your are safer on the road. 4WD courses will help you be a better driver.
James Gorrie has been driving 4 wheel drives through out NT for the past 20 years and has worked at over 35 locations throughout Northern Australia.