Good driving a great habit for life

Australian cities are growing, and by 2051 the combined population of Melbourne and Sydney is expected to grow by more than 115% to 15 million people.

A natural consequence of increased population is added pressure on road and public transport networks.

Without question our roads and public transport systems more easily becoming chocked by traffic congestion.

To help drivers, Bracketron proposes a basic guide to help avoid the consequences of bad driving.

Jose Alvarez has been a driving instructor for more than 45 years and shares his thoughts about developing good driving habits.

“Learning to drive properly is the key to developing good driving habits and being a safe driver,” Mr Alvarez said.

Don’t tailgate

Driving too close to the vehicle in front is dangerous. According to AAMI Insurance the most common type of accident occurred nose to tail. Keep a safe distance from the vehicle in front (count at least three seconds) and check rear and side-view mirrors.

“Every driver has the obligation to keep a safe distance from the vehicle ahead, so that in case the front vehicle stops suddenly you need to be able to stop,” Mr Alvarez said.

Use navigation with real-time traffic

Driving with navigation assistance helps for a safer journey. Purchasing a GPS unit is one option, however trends show that using apps on our smartphones is a quicker and cheaper option. For example Google Maps, Waze and other apps can be installed in a matter of minutes before heading off on the road.

To avoid being fined by police for illegally using your mobile phone or GPS device be sure to use a commercially designed holder. Make sure you don’t touch or rest your device while driving. When and where it is safe pull over to the side of the road, turn off your engine and engage both the park and engine brake when you want to use your device even if it is secured on the holder.

The Bracketron TekGrip Windshield Mount is a great example of how you can use your mobile phone as a GPS device. The durable suction cup technology allows you to securely mount your holder easily to the windscreen.

The design of the holder also allows you to easily remove it. By having the mobile phone in your line of sight you can keep your eyes on the road which stops you loosing concentration when your phone for example is on the front passenger’s seat.

Know the rules

Road rules are changing all the time. For example, one key road rule change in Victoria is from 1 July 2017 a 40km/h speed limit applies when passing a stationary police, emergency, enforcement or escort vehicle with flashing lights or sounding an alarm.

Be sure also to check your local state or territory laws for any changes to the use of electronic devices in motor vehicles. Another road rule change is that motorists must give way to cyclists riding across crossings at a green bicycle crossing light.

Understand what the road tells you

Reading the road allows drivers to better anticipate changing road and traffic conditions.

“Drivers should always avoid impulse decisions that could create an unsafe situation,” Mr Alvarez said.

Mr Alvarez urges drivers to regularly observe mirrors, perform head checks when changing lanes, and observe the movement of traffic, road conditions and signalling.

This will improve the driver’s awareness and in turn ability to respond to any dangerous situation.

Don’t use your mobile when driving

Another very common mistake bad motorists make is texting on a mobile phone while driving.

“Texting is a big distraction,” Mr Alvarez said, as it takes your eyes off the road plus your concentration as well.

Using a mobile phone mount allows for a safer and the limited legal use of your mobile phone while driving, such as taking phone calls.

By not handling your mobile phone while driving, you can focus more on the task ahead and keep your hands on the wheel.

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