Nervous Drivers

October 17, 2012 at 10:59 pm | Posted in GHS | 3 Comments
Tags: , , , ,

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].

Sharing the road with cyclists

October 14, 2012 at 12:21 am | Posted in GHS | 2 Comments
Tags: , , , ,

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
Tags: , , ,

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.

Safe driving tips when it comes to mobile phones

October 1, 2012 at 12:59 pm | Posted in GHS | 4 Comments
Tags: , , ,

Here are some safety driving tips to do with mobile phones and driving. Perhaps you can apply some of these recommendations to your daily driving routine and do your bit to make the road a safer place for everyone:

  • Don’t read or send text messages while driving
  • Use voicemail rather than answering your phone while driving
  • Pull over or park if you need to make or receive a call
  • Plan breaks in your journey for phone calls
  • Let your family and friends know that they shouldn’t call you when your driving
  • Don’t look up phone numbers while driving

(DPTI, 2009)

Source:

Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure (2009) Road Safety: Mobile Phone Use [online]. Available at: http://www.dpti.sa.gov.au/roadsafety/Safer_behaviours/inattention/mobile_phone_use [Accessed 26 September 2012].

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.
Entries and comments feeds.