How To Share The Road With Other Users

How To Share The Road With Other Users

Post by The Jeenee Co-Pilot Team

Road safety and young people....P Plate driver statistics can be very confronting and overwhelming for parents and teenage drivers. Learning to drive anxiety can increase once young drivers start their solo driving journey. Teen driver education is very focused on stages of learning to drive but these lessons may not focus on how to share the road with the many other vehicles on the road. Here is an overview of some of the other types of vehicles any young driver should look out for when on the road.

Sharing the road with Trucks and Long Vehicles

  • Stay out of their blind spots.
  • Leave plenty of room when pulling in front of a truck – don’t cut in too soon, as it’s hard for a truck to slow quickly due to its weight.
  • Travel a safe distance behind a truck or caravan when driving at high speeds – more than the space you would leave for a car, as a truck takes longer to stop.
  • Do not over take a truck when it is turning as it may require more than 1 lane when making a turn – watch for truck turning signals at lights as they may move into a middle lane to turn left.

Sharing the road with Motorcycles

  • Always check your blind spot when changing lanes, don’t just rely on your mirrors.
  • Treat a motorcycle as you would a car – make sure you signal for them too.
  • Allow a good distance from a motorcycle. A motorcycle can stop faster than a car so it’s important to be aware and alert when behind a motorcyclist.
  • Be considerate and cautious in bad weather. Wind and water on the road will cause dangerous conditions for an unprotected motorcycle.
  • Allow space for a motorcycle and do not drive next to a motorcycle in the same lane.
  • When waiting at traffic lights, be aware that motorcyclists are legally allowed to weave through stopped or slow moving traffic.
  • Pay particular care when at intersections – If you are turning right look for motorcyclists that may sometimes be hard to see.
  • Always look twice before you open your car door so not to hit any oncoming motorcycle.

Sharing the road with Bicycles

  • Do not drive in a bike lane unless you are preparing to make a turn or stopping (see your state rules for distance). Remember that you must always give way to cyclists when you need to cross a bike lane.
  • Make sure you obey your state road rules in regards to the distance you must give to a cyclist when you share the road.
  • Always look twice before you open your car door so not to hit any oncoming cyclist.
  • Give way to cyclists approaching or using an intersection.
  • Do not get angry when you are behind a cyclist. Take your time to only overtake them (with a safe distance) when it is safe.

Sharing the road with Pedestrians

  • Never assume a pedestrian has seen your car – take extra care when you see pedestrians close to a road.
  • Take care and stick to the speed limit when near schools, shops, parks or special events and stay alert in high pedestrian activity.
  • Give way to pedestrians when turning at intersections and when approaching a pedestrian crossing.
  • With the increased use of headphones and smartphones, pedestrians may not be as alert as they should be so, as a p plate driver, it is important to remain alert when driving near crossing pedestrians that may not be paying attention, like they should.
  • Give way to pedestrians when you are entering or backing out of a driveway.
  • It is important to aim to stop at traffic lights on a yellow light. If you cross on a red, you have a higher chance of hitting a pedestrian who is beginning to cross the road.

Sharing the road with Trams and Light Rail

  • Do not drive along tracks at any time.
  • Never queue across tracks at any time.
  • Do not cross in front of a vehicle without checking it is safe to do so and you have plenty of space.
  • Always give way to trams and be careful when turning near these vehicles so they have enough space to make a turn without hitting your car.
  • Be alert for pedestrian activity around tram and light rail stops.
  • Take care to clear under overhead wires if you have a tall load. Know your height.

Sharing the road with Emergency Vehicles

  • Always prepare to stop if you see a police vehicle, blue/red flashing lights or police by the side of the road.
  • When you pass a stationary emergency vehicle with flashing lights, you must slow down. Refer to your own state requirements on what speed you need to reduce your vehicle to. (Note: NSW has recently updated their rules for passing emergency vehicles.)
  • Move out of the way to any emergency vehicles with flashing lights on the road. Pull over to get out of the way, if required. You can be fined if you do not give way.
  • Don’t have your music too loud in your car or wear headphones that prevent you from hearing sirens outside your car.

Sharing the road with Road Workers

  • Always obey changed speed limits due to road works. Fines do apply even if you cannot see workers on the road.
  • Obey workers with signage that requires you to stop and wait. Don’t get angry with the wait and do not take it out on the person holding the sign – they are just doing their job.
  • Stay alert when passing through an area where construction is taking place – the road surface may not be smooth.
  • Be aware of vehicles around you if you are asked to cross lanes due to work. Slow down and stay safe.

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