Nervous Drivers

October 17, 2012 at 10:59 pm | Posted in GHS | 3 Comments
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Driving to me means freedom and independence but it can also mean tension and anxiety. This is especially true if your driving on a freeway and you have no idea where to exit which has happened to me numerous times.

This brings me to the topic of this post which is nervous drivers and how to overcome those anxious feelings that you can experience when your driving. I think this is an important topic because nervous drivers are likely to make more mistakes on the road which can lead to fatal road accidents.

Below are some tips that can help you keep calm even if you find yourself in a situation where you feel like you have no control over the car:

  • Plan your trip: before you go anywhere make sure that you have had a look at a map so that you are able to navigate yourself to your destination. Google Maps is a good way to do this especially because your able to get a street view of the location your going to which means that you can see where your able to park and what important intersections there are in the area
  • Set yourself easy goals, this means that if your terrified of driving on the freeway then start off by going to your local shops and then next time you can drive to a different location
  • Get help from a driving instructor: if your a really nervous driver then you might want to get a couple of lessons with a professional driving instructor. This is a great way to regain control on the road as you have someone next to you who is able to deal with different driving situations and can put you at ease when you feel frightened or uncomfortable
  • Take regular breaks: every two hours take a fifteen minute break
  • Keep your distance, ensure that there is a two second gap between you and the vehicle in front of you
  • Be mindful of all road signs, this is especially true when your on the freeway as road conditions can change at a faster rate compared to ordinary roads

Remember that slow and steady wins the race. This might sound like a big cliche but its a good motto to follow when it comes to overcoming driving anxiety. There is no shame in starting off slow by getting in the car and just familiarizing yourself with the driver’s seat, turning the engine on, adjusting mirrors and so on.

Lastly, if you need help and support don’t be afraid to ask for it, you never know what a huge difference this could make to your driving abilities.

Keep in mind that driving can be an exhilarating and empowering experience that everyone should be able to take part in.

Sources

Drive & Stay Alive, INC. (2004) Advice for Nervous Drivers [online]. Available at: http://www.driveandstayalive.com/info%20section/news/individual%20news%20articles/x_040820_advice-for-nervous-drivers_%28lancs-uk%29.htm [Accessed 14 October 2012].

witterings of the overtired (2012) Tips for Nervous Drivers [online]. Available at: http://podgypixiejo.blogspot.com.au/2012/07/tips-for-nervous-drivers.html [Accessed 14 October 2012].

Queensland’s share the road campaign

October 14, 2012 at 11:32 am | Posted in GHS | 5 Comments
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In the previous post we’ve focused on things that drivers can do to prevent getting into accidents with cyclists. However, this does not mean that we place the blame and responsibility just on the driver, we are aware that there are cyclists out there who don’t follow the road rules or think they don’t apply to them. A way to change the attitudes and behaviors of both drivers and cyclists is by making them equally accountable for their actions.

This is an approach that has been adopted by the Queensland government’s Department of Transport and Main Roads. They have created the Share the road campaign which seeks to educate the public about how cyclists and motorists can share the road responsibly. By doing this they hope to improve road safety for cyclists and increase the number of cyclists in Queensland.

Below are two posters that have been used widely in the campaign:

Campaign poster aimed at cyclists about the importance of following road rules

Another campaign poster, this time directed at drivers so that they give cyclists enough space on the road

As you can tell from the posters above, the Safe the road campaign is not trying to shift all the blame on to one group of road users and I think this is what makes it effective as it acknowledges that cyclists and motorists both have a part to play in keeping our roads safe.

I think this represents what we are trying to achieve with our campaign which is to make road safety everybody’s responsibility rather than making it about one group or individual. I think viewing it this way will mean that more people can feel empowered and motivated to change the way they think and act on the road.

Survey on sharing the road with cyclists

October 14, 2012 at 7:09 am | Posted in GHS | Leave a comment
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Following from my previous post about how to safely share the road with cyclist, I have created a survey so that you can share your views about this important road safety issue.

Click on this link and get started it’s as simple as that 🙂

Comment below if you want us to create more surveys for future posts and if you have any suggestions on what topics you want us to cover.

Sharing the road with cyclists

October 14, 2012 at 12:21 am | Posted in GHS | 2 Comments
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Cyclists have the same rights and responsibilities on the road that drivers do.

In particular, drivers need to be aware that cyclists are more vulnerable on the road compared to them so they need to do everything in their power to keep the roads safe.

Below are some valuable tips that will make it easier to share the road with cyclists:

  • When your passing a cyclist give them enough space, at least half a car’s width
  • When you overtake a cyclist make sure you give them lost of room. Only overtake if your sure that it’s safe
  • Check your rear and side view mirrors before turning right our left and opening your car door
  • Cyclist are like any other road user so give them way when necessary and travel at a safe following distance
  • Try to avoid overtaking a cyclist, wait until it is safe to overtake or if a cyclist is ahead of you and you wish to turn left then turn behind the cyclist
  • Keep a look out for cyclists at night time, early in the morning or at dusk. If your approaching a cyclist under these conditions then make sure you dip your headlights
  • Be very careful around cyclists if it has been raining as they have to contend with oily, slippery roads and poor visibility
  • Don’t drive or park in a cycle lane
  • Don’t forget to indicate so that the cyclist knows upfront when you want to change lanes or turn a corner
  • If your driving near a school or a place where children may be riding their bike then be extra vigilant. This is because young riders can be unpredictable and not aware of the road rules so you need to anticipate their movements by giving them extra space and slowing down around schools
  • Treat cyclists with respect and courtesy
  • Cyclists can make sudden maneuvers so that they avoid uneven road surfaces and obstacles like drain covers, wet or icy patches on the road. This is why you need to give them plenty of room
  • When your heading towards a roundabout be aware that a cyclist may signal right when they are in the left lane so that they can continue round the roundabout
  • If your passing a cyclist make sure you pass them at a cautious speed
  • Remember to keep a three feet minimum distance when passing a cyclist. By doing this you can prevent a rear-end accident which could prove fatal for the cyclist

Remember that we should hold cyclists in high regard as by choosing not to drive they are benefiting everyone as they are reducing traffic congestion, pollution and road wear.

For more tips on sharing the road with cyclists then check out Safe Cycling in Sydney’s blog post on 6 things drivers can do to improve relations with cyclists.

Sources

1) Department of Transport and Main Roads (2012) Sharing the road with cyclists [online]. Available at: http://www.tmr.qld.gov.au/Safety/Driver-guide/Driving-safely/Sharing-the-road-with-cyclists.aspx  [Accessed 13 September 2012].

2) Torbay Council (2012) Ten Steps to Considerate Driving For Cyclist Safety [online]. Available at: http://www.torbay.gov.uk/index/yourbay/sports/cycling/ten-steps-to-considerate-driving-for-cyclist-safety.htm [Accessed 13 September 2012].

3) Ulrich, L (2012) How to Drive around Cyclists [online]. Available at: PDF Link [Accessed 14 September 2012].

Keeping safe on the road this bushfire season

October 10, 2012 at 8:30 am | Posted in GHS, GloriaSantillana | 2 Comments
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Summer is just around the corner which means getting more time in the sun with friends. However, the hot weather can also create road hazards such as a bushfire.

If your planning to take a road trip this summer or you just want to be prepared for any emergencies you may encounter whilst driving then you need to know what to do if your driving in a bushfire affected area.

First of all before you travel anywhere this summer make sure you listen to ABC Radio or your local radio station so that your aware of any fires that are burning near your destination. If you are driving in a high risk bushfire area and a Code Red is forecast then the best option is either to leave the night before or early the next day.

Having said that, don’t leave if there are already signs of a bushfire in the area your in. This is because the thick, dark smoke will make it hard for you to see while driving. There is also a danger of falling tress and power lines which could leave you trapped in the path of a fire.

Below are some tips that you need to follow if you see a bushfire in the distance while driving:

  • You need to pull over to the side of the road preferably behind a solid structure so that you block the radiant heat of the fire
  • Keep your car away from dense bush
  • Stay inside your car unless there’s a nearby building, this will keep you protected from the radiant heat
  • Make the car visible by turning on the hazard and headlights
  • Close windows and doors
  • Turn the air conditioning on to full and recirculate
  • Get down below the window level and shelter under a woolen blanket
  • Drink lots of water so that you don’t get dehydrated
  • Stay in the car until the fire front has passed and the temperature outside has dropped
  • Once outside the car, move into a safe area such as a strip of land that has already burnt
  • Stay covered in a woolen blanket, drink plenty of water and wait for assistance

(Tasmania Fire Service, 2012)

These tips will ensure that your protected from the radiant heat of the bushfire which is the biggest killer in a fire.

The best way to protect yourself from the radiant heat is by keeping your distance.

Have fun and keep safe this summer by being aware of the dangers that a bushfire can cause motorists on the road and the steps you need to take to avoid these dangers.

If you want more information about bushfire safety then check out this link from Tourism Victoria.

Driving at night= extra danger?

October 10, 2012 at 5:39 am | Posted in yolendalo | 1 Comment
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Driving during the night is much more dangerous than during the day. This is because during the night visibility is low, from a scientific view this is because the colour and contrast from the day is lower than night. This then causes vision and depth perception to be lower, which in result, causes drivers to have a delayed reaction towards dangers.

When you do drive during the night you would immediately notice the difference between day time and night time. Although there are street lights as well as car lights to light up the roads, these lights are actually causing some problems on the road. This is because when the lights are too bright and strong it causes glare on people’s eyes. This then can cause a short term blindness which can then cause an accident. Not all people will be affected by this problem, however, people with eye sights problems will be most affected. If you do have trouble seeing at night because of the bright lights, go get your eyes checked. It is important to understand yourself and keep safe while driving.

 

Will you be able to see her?

 

Here are some suggestions to keep safe during the night:

  • Before you hit the road, check that all your mirrors, windows and lights are clean. Dirty windows and mirrors add to glare and dirty lights decreases efficiency.
  • Avoid using high beam on roads with lots of people because this will affect their visibility
  • Avoid using high beam on foggy days because it will reduce your own ability to see
  • Adjust your rear-view mirror to avoid reflection of other vehicles
  • Avoid using your interior lights when driving
  • Drive slower with more gap between other cars around you
  • Keep your eyes moving around for any form of danger
  • Try to drive less at night because it requires more concentration and during the night you are more fatigue

Don’t get lost, don’t go panic

October 5, 2012 at 5:09 am | Posted in yolendalo | 2 Comments
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It is not uncommon for someone to get lost while driving. However, not many people realize that getting lost or not knowing where you are is very dangerous. This is because when you get lost you focus your attention towards looking around and trying to figure out your location. If you have a GPS you would focus on that device, as previous blogs have stated, any device is a type of distraction. It is also human nature to feel panic when confronted with unfamiliar surrounding. This then causes a lack of focus on the road which can result to an accident.

A sign of someone getting lost is constantly changing lanes and slowing down in the middle of the road. This may seem like the driver is drunk or falling asleep on the wheels. However, this is usually a sign that the driver is either lost or they don’t know which lane to take due to the confusing road signs or lanes. Constantly changing lane is dangerous because drivers around you cannot anticipate or predict your next move. Starting and stopping is also hazardous because when a car tries to overtake you they can crash into you if you suddenly speed up.

When you are lost you should drive slower than usual at a constant pace, this insures that you won’t cause an accident if you suddenly stop to turn a corner or if someone overtakes you. Stay calm because panicking will not improve the situation, pull over if it is safe to do so and consult a map. When you change lane always remember that there is no protection shield surrounding you. No one knows what you are thinking therefore do not anticipate someone stopping in the middle of their track when you make a turn. It goes without saying:” always look before making a move”.

 

If you happen to be travelling somewhere foreign then before leaving you should always scout out the route. Even if you are just a bit hesitant, always consult the map before leaving. Do not always rely on your GPS, it is always dangerous focusing on the GPS while driving. It can act as a reminder but never rely on it. The GPS system will not tell you which lane to switch to, it will only tell you when to make a turn. Some roads are just too confusing and busy, therefore you may not be able to react quickly enough for the GPS.

Stay focused while driving

October 4, 2012 at 4:57 am | Posted in yolendalo | 2 Comments
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Driving is a dangerous activity, it is really important to pay attention all the time because if you lose focus for even one split second it can result in an accident. You may feel safe surrounded by metal and airbags, however, it is still best to prevent any accidents from happening.

Within Australian roads it is by law to stop every 2-3 hours of driving. This means that no driver, no matter how experienced you are is allowed to drive for more than 3 hours at a time. However, we believe that this time should be different for everyone driving on the road. This is because not everyone can handle the same amount of driving time. For example, older drivers aged 60 and over cannot drive longer than people aged 20-30. It is a known that older drivers lose focus a lot easier and quicker than younger drivers. Therefore this driving limit should be set lower if you are of older age. This is not to say that older drivers drive badly, it is just that their physical body cannot go through the stress of staying full alert for a long period of time. Driving requires a lot of focus, this then causes driving to become exhausting. Therefore if you don’t feel tired after driving you are not paying enough attention on the road.

Distractions can also cause the loss of focus.

Distractions can also include:

  • eating and drinking
  • reading or writing
  • using a wireless device
  • grooming
  • minding children
  • conversing with passengers
  • smoking
  • adjusting in-car stereos and electronics
  • minding pets
  • putting on make-up

According to the website Smart Motorist, traffic accidents are defined as unexpected, undesired and unforeseen mishaps involving auto-mobiles  Most importantly, traffic accidents are collisions that often can be avoided through cautious, defensive driving. Many drivers believe that they are capable to do the above actions without any consequences. However, traffic accidents will occur when it is least expected. Therefore all drivers should be aware that traffic accidents are not subjected to age, sex or experience. It can happen to everyone therefore drive cautiously with full attention on the road.

Please watch this clip and remember to drive with full attention

all copy rights go to generetix

Road Rage

October 3, 2012 at 8:26 am | Posted in yolendalo | Leave a comment
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Road rage is an aggressive or angry behaviour by a driver of an automotive or other motor vehicle. Road rage can lead to altercations, assaults, and collisions which result in injuries and even deaths. Road rage is experienced by many people from all ages therefore the effects it causes on the road should be identified by all drivers.

The following are common actions of road rage:

  • Generally aggressive driving, including sudden acceleration, braking, and close tailgating.
  • Cutting others off in a lane, or deliberately preventing someone from merging.
  • Chasing other motorists
  • Flashing lights and/or sounding the horn excessively.
  • Yelling or exhibiting disruptive behavior at roadside establishments.
  • Driving at high speeds in the median of a highway to terrify drivers in both lanes.
  • Rude gestures (such as “the finger”).
  • Shouting verbal abuses or threats.(such as the widely used term “F you”)

Here are some of the extreme cases of road rage:

  • Intentionally causing a collision between vehicles.
  • Hitting other vehicles.
  • Assaulting other motorists, their passengers, cyclists or pedestrians
  • Exiting the car to attempt to start confrontations, including striking other vehicles with an object.
  • Threatening to use or using a firearm or other deadly weapon.
  • Throwing objects from a moving vehicle with the intent to damage other vehicles.

Causes of road rage:

  1. Bad day at the office
  2. Feeling rushed
  3. Family issues
  4. Lack of sleep
  5. Running late
  6. Environmental issues
  7. Stress due to money related issues, such as bills

How to avoid road rage:

  1. Avoid conflict on the road
  • Everyone has the rights to use the road. It is a public area

2. Keep calm, show restraint

  • Don’t be paranoid, the world is not against you
  • Don’t show your frustration by making gestures- this could cause unneeded anger on someone else
  • Don’t try to compete, retaliate or “educate” them
  • Be patient in traffic, everyone is in the same situation

4. Say “thanks”/ say “sorry”

  • Apologizing to the other driver when you make a mistake, reduces confrontation and defuses anger

5. What to do in the event of violent road rage

  • Try not to react and avoid making eye contact, this is a sign that you want to fight
  • Don’t respond by accelerating, braking or swerving suddenly
  • If you think you’re being followed, try to drive to a busy public place or Police Station, before you stop. Don’t drive to quiet and unfamiliar roads.
  • Keep the and doors and boot locked in case it gets dangerous

What to do in the event of physical threats

  1. Stay in your car with windows locked
  2. If you have a mobile phone, call for help
  3. Use the car horn and lights to attract attention
  4. Never carry a defensive weapon- it could simply provoke a potential assailant

 

Speeding in New South Wales

October 2, 2012 at 10:19 pm | Posted in GHS | 1 Comment
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Source:

Roads and Maritime Services (2012) Speeding [online]. Available at: http://www.rta.nsw.gov.au/roadsafety/speedandspeedcameras/index.html [Accessed 02 October 2012].

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