When driving, it’s crucial for you to be aware of your surroundings and for others to be aware of you. Understand when you may be in someone’s blind spot or if there’s poor visibility. Every move you make should be completed early and carefully to ensure other drivers have time to see you.
There’s a famous animation showing a driver in a car asking the question – “Do I need to show my indicator to cut across eight lanes? No? I’ll turn now”. Well, they did, and what followed was a commotion of chaos and explosions.
Obviously, this was only an animated series and, of course, which to some extent was greatly exaggerated. The reality is, people don’t always know what the correct procedure is when it comes to changing lanes.
The Australian Road Rules defines an “older driver” as any driver aged 75 years or above. Older drivers must provide an updated medical review, showing they’re still fit to drive. This rule aims to improve road safety. Drivers above this age can be suffering from physical or cognitive impairments. In this guide to older driver licensing, you’ll read about how to keep your drivers licence updated.
It’s essential to know the Australian road rules before attempting to drive in NSW or Vic to avoid making simple mistakes. A driving theory test is the first step to getting a driver’s licence in both NSW and Vic, so let’s look at some of the basic road rules. It’s also necessary to understand the demerit points system and how it works. You will have to research this system as there are various ways to get these points, and they include fines and suspensions.
Driver fatigue is one of the leading causes of fatalities on Australian roads, along with speeding and alcohol consumption. Research by Transport NSW also suggests that fatigue is just as dangerous as drunk driving, if not more so. In fact, staying awake for 17 hours has similar effects on cognitive ability as a 0.05/100ml blood alcohol content.
After 21 hours, this figure skyrockets to 0.15, which is classified as “High Range” and well over the legal limit. Moreover, driving tired after being awake for 24 hours increases the risk of a car accident seven-fold.
When you’re taught how to drive, you’re taught the most important rules such as following road signs — but there’s a good chance that there are other more subtle rules are left out from your knowledge. These rules aren’t just a caution to help you avoid the law, but are also in place to help you become a safer driver.
While there are many tips that people might give you to pass the driving test, we’ve narrowed it down to just the 3 most important tips – the ones we believe you should focus on most. Of course this is assuming that you’ve already practiced driving significantly and are on track to become a safe driver.
While the cost of a driving lesson isn’t a perfect indicator of quality, driving schools who put more resources into the quality of their lessons may increase the cost of their lessons. You might first look at driving and think it’s relatively easy to learn — but even the easiest skills are better learnt with a deliberate structure. A simple analogy would be trying to get better at marathon running. If you just ran every day without tracking your improvements, you might get better.
But what if there was someone to teach you the proper form, pacing and tracked your strengths and pain points?
This would be the biggest difference between a cheaper driving lesson and a more expensive one. The difference between someone who has a system crafted to improve your driving skills and someone who just sits in the car with you and only helps you with their intuition.
We’ll start with the cheaper driving lessons first. They may range from $40–$50/hr and are usually an independent driving instructor. However, these lessons might typically involve a driving instructor who puts the minimal effort to teach you how to drive. This would entail an instructor who takes you into a car that hasn’t been optimised for teaching and simply teaching you without ever trying to figure out what you currently know and need to learn. With anything, whether it’s an iPhone or a cheap phone, you pay for the quality of the product or service. This is the same with driving lessons. These instructors may typically teach you the skills just to pass the driving test, but not to be a better driver in general.
It might seem counterintuitive for us to market ourselves as a more expensive driving school brand, but we feel that we’re justified in doing so. We’ve spent hours and hours on research to understand the best way to teach new students, make sure all our instructors know the process and acquire the best cars for students to drive in. In the price you pay, you pay for an instructor following a process that we’ve improved over 50 years. You’re paying for a curriculum that is created not just to help you pass the driving test, but to make sure that you’re safe on the road. This includes a 128-page handbook including 54 instruction topics with everything you need to know, a student record card so you can visually see what you’ve learnt and individually planned lessons.
The Hidden Benefits
What you’re really paying for when you pay for a lesson with LTrent is your time. You’re paying to get a lesson that will save your time. You’ll learn more in one hour with LTrent than one hour with a driving school that hasn’t put as much effort into perfecting the teaching process. It’s the difference between trying to read a textbook and learning by yourself versus having a teacher who not only knows the material, but knows how to teach you as well. Our philosophy is producing the best driving lesson possible and our value proposition to you is that you’re going to have a better experience with us than anywhere else. If you don’t believe that you received the best level of service and training, not only will we refund your money for your first lesson but we’ll give you 50% off your next session. Find your driving lesson times or contact us
Renewing your licence might not seem like an important task, but it’s useful to understand how to do – especially because you’re probably going to be driving all the way into old age and you’re going to need to renew your licence at some point. As well as this, if you ever drive unlicensed, you can be heavily punished.
Driving unlicensed If you haven’t been manually staring at the expiry date of your driver’s licence being paranoid that it’s going to expire soon like most people, you’re going to receive a renewal notice six weeks before it expires. That is, you haven’t renewed your licence yet. Though if you didn’t receive any notice, it’s still your responsibility to make sure that you’re not driving with an expired licence.
If you do need to renew your licence, there are special conditions if you’re not on an unrestricted licence yet.
Learner licences While other P1, P2 and unrestricted licence holders are permitted to renew their licence online, learner licence holders must attend a service centre or registry in person. Furthermore, learner licence holders must pass the knowledge test (the same test they passed to get their licence in the first place) to renew their licence.
Furthermore, drivers must pay the learner licence fee again. Despite this, it’s rare for someone to renew their learner licence as learner licences are valid for five years. This means that most people either progress to become P1 drivers or if they have chosen not to drive, simply use a photo card as a form of identification.
P1 and P2 licences The amazing thing about a P1 and P2 licence is that there’s no time limit for moving through to the next stage of your licence and you’re able to renew your P1 and P2 licences as many times as you want.
P1 licences last 18 months before expiry and P2 licences last double that – 36 months. Furthermore, every renewal requires a fee.
P1 and P2 licence holders are able to renew their licences online.
Renewing online or in person If you want to renew your licence online click here.
If you want to renew your licence in person, you can visit any service centre or registry and follow the steps given to you there. Typically this will involve filling out a form, providing your current licence and paying the required licence fee.
When you can renew Remember that you’re able renew your licence up to 6 months before it expires. This means that there’s a half a year gap between being able to renew your licence and having your licence expire – plenty of time to make sure that you don’t drive around with an expired licence.
If you renew your licence within 6 months after the expiry date, your new licence’s expiry date will be calculated based on your previous licence. However, if you renew it more than 6 months after the expiry date, your licence will be reissued.
Cancelled licences If your licence has been cancelled, suspended or disqualified – depending on the severity of the cause there are special steps you must take in order to renew your licence. To find out further information, call or visit a service centre and explain your situation.
So you’ve got your learner’s licence but you or your parents/supervisors are not sure of the best approach in learning how to drive. Luckily for you, LTrent has driving instructors affiliated with a special program called Keys2drive – an innovative approach to learn road safety through a free driving lesson.
This is an Australian Government-funded program designed to help learner drivers (only learners are allowed to go through this course) and their parents/supervisors with an accredited driving instructor, aimed to provide new drivers with the capacity to teach themselves and others the skills required to drive.
Why a free lesson is offered
There’s an overwhelming statistic where new P1 driver’s are twenty to thirty times more likely to be harmed in a crash than an unrestricted driver. This is simply due to the new environment of driving alone as well as the untested confidence of finally getting a licence. In order to limit this statistic, a free lesson that encompasses techniques for self-improvement in driving is encouraged for learner drivers.
In order to attend the lessons, the learner driver must hold an Australian learners permit and a supervising driver must hold an unrestricted licence and attend the lesson. The reason the parent or supervisor should be at the lesson is so that it provides them with the skills and capacity to help understand how they can help the learner learn. Feedback from Keys2Drive has informed us that communication has improved between parents and their learners due to the capacity of the supervisors understanding how best to teach someone a new skill.
A special learning experience
Keys2Drive offers a special 60 minute session that takes an entirely different approach to traditional driving lessons in the sense that the lesson attempts to teach the student to teach him or herself. This includes providing them with the resources and confidence to self-assess, self-instruct and self-supervise.
This makes up the first part of the lesson including examples of how these introspective techniques can be applied while driving. The remaining time is used on practically using these skills while driving and adding these mental models to your driving.
While the Keys2Drive lesson isn’t exactly like a traditional driving lesson, it certainly doesn’t replace it. It’s created to complement driving lessons as Keys2Drive teaches you psychological techniques for learning, and driving lessons teach you the driving techniques themselves. With both these tools equipped, you’ll learn more rapidly and broadly.
When you should take your free lesson
In fact, Keys2Drive recommends that you take the free lesson after you’ve done around 5-10 hours as you’ll have a basic understanding of how to drive and you’ll be reaching a point where further improvements in your driving can be learnt quickly. Similar to how if you’ve learnt your first few songs on a new instrument, you’re able to learn new songs even faster.
Despite this, Keys2Drive is extremely valuable for all learner drivers – even if you’re ready to take your driving test to become a P1 driver as you’re able to take the P Plate ready assessment which involves a scoring sheet checking whether or not you’re ready for your test.