Education Archives | LTrent

Overtaking Safely

Overtaking Safely | LTrent Driving School Blog

There are different types of drivers in Australia: slow, cautious, and fast. When driving on single-lane roads, it is usually tempting to overtake the first type, particularly if they’re slowing you down. While overtaking is sometimes necessary, it can be a risky manoeuvre.

Knowing how to overtake safely is vital because it keeps you, the passengers, and other drivers safe on the road. This article comprises tips to help you learn how to overtake like a pro. Follow through!

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Three Second Following Rule for Drivers

Three Second Following Rule for Drivers | LTrent Blog

Rear-end collisions are some of the common types of car accidents. In Australia alone, it accounts for about 31% of car accidents. These collisions occur when drivers do not pay attention to the road and the vehicles ahead of them.

It is recommended to leave adequate space between your vehicle and the one in front of you, especially during poor weather conditions. This gives you enough time to react safely and appropriately to slowing or stopping traffic. The best way to do this is by using the 3-second following rule.

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How to Be Seen in Traffic – Safety Driving Tip

How to Be Seen in Traffic - Safety Driving Tip | LTrent Driving School Blog

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.

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Guide to older driver licensing in NSW

Guide to older driver licensing in NSW | Ltrent Driving School Blog

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.

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Do you know your road rules?

Do you know your road rules? | LTrent Driving School Blog

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.

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Driver Fatigue

Driver Fatigue | Ltrent Driving School Blog

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.

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What Are Blind Spots in Driving

What Are Blind Spots in Driving | LTrent Driving School Blog

We’ve all heard the term “blind spot” before, but what does it actually mean when it comes to driving? In this article, we’ll discuss what blind spots are, how to identify them, and what you can do to avoid them. Stay safe out there!

What Are Blind Spots?

Blind spots are areas around a vehicle that the driver cannot see, either in the rearview or side mirrors or by simply looking over their shoulder. Because of their location, blind spots can pose a serious safety hazard, as they can easily obscure other vehicles, cyclists, or pedestrians.

Blind spots can vary in size depending on the type of vehicle. For example, larger vehicles such as trucks and SUVs tend to have larger blind spots than smaller vehicles such as cars.

Dealing With Blind Spots

While blind spots are an inherent part of driving, there are some steps that you can take to minimise their impact. Here are some tips for dealing with your blind spots:

Know Where Your Blind Spots Are Located

You can’t improve your blind spot awareness if you don’t know where they are. So first things first, take inventory of where your blind spots are located. For most people, the biggest blind spot is directly behind their vehicle. Another common blind spot is at the periphery of our vision; objects that are far to the left or right may fall outside of our field of view.

Once you know where your blind spots are, you can start taking steps to mitigate them.

Adjust Your Mirrors Properly

Before driving, make sure your main mirrors are properly adjusted. They should be positioned so that you can see the entire width of your vehicle in them. You may also want to consider tilting them slightly downward so you can see the roadway behind you more clearly. In addition, be sure to use your rearview mirror when changing lanes or making turns.

Look Over Your Shoulder

Another way to reduce blind spots is to simply look over your shoulder before changing lanes or making a turn. This may seem like a simple task, but it can make a big difference in terms of safety.

Use Turn Signals

This is an obvious one, but it is worth repeating. Turn signals are there for a reason– to let other drivers know what you’re planning to do. Failing to signal can cause serious accidents, especially if another driver is in your blind spot. Make it a habit to always use your turn signals, even if there doesn’t seem to be any other traffic around.

When Should You Check Your Blind Spots?

The best time to check your blind spots is actually before you even get behind the wheel. That’s right, even before you start driving, you should take a moment to familiarise yourself with your car’s blind spots. This can be done by simply walking around your car and looking at where the mirrors are positioned. You should also check your blind spots before changing lanes, when merging onto a highway, and when making a turn.

The Ltrent Driving School Method

Want to improve your driving skills? The Ltrent Driving School offers a variety of courses to fit your needs. We have everything from beginner to advanced driving courses, and our experienced instructors are here to help you every step of the way. For NSW learner drivers the Safer Drivers Course is also a great way to get theory and practical driving lessons. Contact us today to learn more.

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How to Prepare Your Car for a Road Trip

Royal National Park - Open Road

Once you have your licence, you have the keys to freedom and it’s time to head off on your first road trip. Exciting times. You’ve packed your bags but what about your car?
What should you check to prepare for your trip?

1. Tyre pressures
The most common problem that you are likely to have when you head out on a road trip is a flat tyre. A couple of days before you go, check the tyre pressures with a reliable gauge and fill to the pressure recommended in the owner’s manual or tyre placard on the vehicle. If you find that one tyre is lower than the others, have it inspected for a leak before setting off. Don’t forget to check the spare tyre too. There is nothing worse than changing a tyre by the side of the freeway only to find that there is no air in the tyre you just fitted!

2. Tools and Jack
Make sure that you know where the tools and the jack for the car are. If you have never changed a wheel, it is probably a good idea to have a go at jacking the vehicle up and removing a wheel before you head off. By doing this you can test and confirm that all the tools you will need are with the car and in working order.

3. Fluid Levels
Depending on how old your car is, you should check the fluid levels. Use the owner’s manual to identify where the following fluids can be checked:
Engine oil
Transmission oil
Coolant
Brake/clutch fluid
Power steering oil
Windscreen washer water
If you find any fluids are low, top up the fluid and have a mechanic check for leaks.

4. Lights
Often on a road trip some of your driving may be at night. On the freeway or on country roads there are no street lights. You will need rely on the quality of your headlights. Make sure that your headlights are working on both high and low beam and also check that the lights aim where you want them. While you are at it, check all the other lights on the vehicle, they will help you to be seen!

5. Carry Water and Food
It is good practice to carry some water and food with you out on the road. The amounts will vary depending on how remote you are heading. 10L of water and some food is good to have with you. The water can be used for hydration if you are stranded or can be used to top up overheating cooling systems to get you a bit further down the road.

6. Fuel
Lastly, make sure that you have enough fuel for the trip. If there is an accident or a natural hazard like a flood or bushfire, you may have to take a detour. If you only have enough fuel to get you to your endpoint, you may end up stranded on the side of the road.

Do I really have to indicate out of a roundabout?

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Yes…if practicable

The road rules state:
You must indicate for long enough to give sufficient warning to other drivers and pedestrians before entering a roundabout when turning left or right. You must also indicate, if practicable, on exit when going straight ahead. That way, people around you know exactly where you’re headed.
Doesn’t really offer much help does it?

So, when is practicable?

If you’re a learner driver and thinking about passing a driving test, then it’s practicable at every single roundabout.

There are two reasons for this:

The driving test

Firstly, you will be sitting a test where the examiner decides if you should have used an indicator to exit a roundabout. You don’t want to find that out that you got it wrong after the test. If you indicate on every roundabout you won’t be failed for signal errors.
If you find it difficult to signal out of a roundabout, particularly small ones, then it could be a technical issue. Turning right at a roundabout with too much speed or having an incorrect steering technique can make it difficult to use an exit indicator.

The power of habit

Driving is a practical skill and to be good at it, you need to build habits. When you are learning and practicing roundabouts, build a habit out of signalling out of every roundabout. This way you don’t have to decide when is practicable.
This rule about exiting roundabouts isn’t new, however, you won’t see many drivers applying it!

Check out our video below to see how it’s done:
Exit Straight

Top 6 Driving Fails

Top Driving Fails
Here are our top 6 driving fails:

1. Not keeping an appropriate gap
The most common type of accident in NSW is a rear-end collision.  Rear end accidents account for 28% of all reported accidents making this our number 1 driving fail! The most common cause of rear-end accidents is not keeping an appropriate gap.
2. Distractions
A rapidly rising cause of accidents is distraction, with smart phones taking priority over what is happening on the road. You might get away with it once, but soon enough your number will come up.
 3. Driving in the right-hand lane
We refer to the right-hand lane as the ‘head-on collision lane’. It only takes a tiny error by an oncoming driver for a head-on collision to occur. Head-on collisions account for  30% of fatalities on NSW roads.
4. Late decisions
The late decision maker likes to keep us all guessing as to their next move. They brake late and try to squeeze into turning lanes that they did not realise were coming up. Late decision makers do not have the time to consider other traffic when they make moves and are difficult to predict .
 5. Not indicating
There are some drivers out there that think that indicators are there to be used because the road rules say so. The reality is that indicators are there to communicate with other road users. Nothing more frustrating than the driver that gives their indicator half a flash just after they have changed lanes.
6. Trusting a green light
Green means go right? Well did you know that 16% of crashes happen at controlled intersections? Just because we have the right of way does not mean everyone else will give way. Make sure you are safe before entering an intersection or you are committing one of our top 6 driving fails.

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