Education Archives | LTrent

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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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.

Are you looking for logbook hours? Complete the Safer Drivers Course and get 20 logbook hours.  Book today

Your child is ready to learn. Are you ready to teach?

learner driver
The focus for our blogs over the coming weeks is how to best work with your child to get their licence and keep them, and you, safe in the process.
So your beautiful baby is about to turn 16 and is keen to start driving. What can you do to make sure that they get the best start on driving?
Here are 5 tips from a professional trainer.
1. Have your child read the road users handbook
In the modern day most young people sit their driver knowledge test without having read the road users handbook. The driver knowledge questions are available as a mobile app from Service NSW for you to practice with. This serves a great purpose of getting you use to the layout of the questions and can even help you learn some of the road rules. It is not a complete knowledge base.
By reading the road users handbook most of the road rules are covered, it might be a good idea for you as a parent to have a read too!
2. Make sure that your learner knows all the vehicle controls before getting on the road
It is important for a learner to be comfortable with the controls of the vehicle before getting out on the road. The last thing you want is to be trying to explain to someone how to use the wipers during a sudden downpour! They can start learning the controls and switch work before they have a licence. Reading the vehicle user manual and spending some time in the garage with you testing their knowledge is a great way to start. Try to have your soon to be learner sit up front and watch what you are doing with the controls and your interaction with traffic. This will help to build muscle memory and understanding.
3. Don’t do too much too soon
During the early stages of actual driving everything is new. The feel of the accelerator and brakes (and even which is which) is a bit trial and error. Stay well away from traffic in the early stages of driving and try to get in lots of short sessions close together. It is exhausting when nothing is muscle memory. Be prepared for the accelerator to be used in place of the brake and if you don’t have access to an emergency brake from the left hand side of the vehicle then be very cautious about getting into difficult situations.
4. Remember that what is obvious to you is not to them
It is very difficult as an experienced driver to identify how and why you do what you do. Simple things like telling a learner to pivot their heel on the floor when operating the accelerator and brake makes a massive difference, but might not be obvious at first. The way we interact with traffic is another area that looks like magic to learners but is very difficult to put into words for the experienced driver.
5. Get help!
The early stages of driving are by far the most important. Giving your child some time with a professional trainer to kick things off is going to instil the correct techniques and should build confidence quickly. It is much easier to practice the correct techniques for 120 hours than to undo 120 hours of bad habits for the test. Consider getting some driving lessons yourself before embarking on your supervision career. Your driver trainer will be happy to take you out for some lessons and work with you on any bad habits. Remember that your driver trainer is there to work with you. They will be happy to give feedback and address any concerns that you have.

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The Safer Drivers Course is designed for learner drivers wanting to learn more about becoming a safe driver. The course will help you gain a deeper understanding about what it takes to be a safe solo driver.
Through both in-class activities and on-road coaching, the Safer Drivers Course will help you to be safe long after the driving test. The course is fun, engaging and informative.
saferdriverscourse_infog

Are you being seen by other drivers?

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At most crashes one of the drivers will get out of their car and say,  “He came from nowhere” or “I didn’t see her”.
If you aim to be seen you will reduce your likelihood of being involved in an accident.

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The Kerbside Stop

You will need to do kerbside stops in the driving test.
This often overlooked skill is essential to gaining a licence.
Often it will be done on an uphill grade, especially for manual learners.
You will also need to perform the same manoeuvre as part of a reverse park or three-point-turn. Getting the kerbside stop wrong will make it difficult to pass your driving test.
Getting the kerbside stop wrong will make it difficult to pass your driving test.

Where can I do a kerbside stop?

When practicing kerbside stops, you will need to consider the road and surrounding area. Start on a quiet road so you have plenty of time.
You cannot park across a driveway, in a clearway or a bus zone. All parking signs need to be checked to ensure that you are parking in the appropriate place for the length of stay.
An often forgotten parking rule is that you need to leave at least three metres from any double unbroken center line to leave enough space for cars to go past.
For more parking rules see: http://www.rms.nsw.gov.au/roads/safety-rules/road-rules/parking.html

How to do a kerbside stop?

To master kerbside stops, you will need to be proficient in the use of:

  • Accelerator and brakes
  • The gears
  • The clutch
  • Starting and stopping the car
  • Hand-over-hand steering technique
  • Vision
  • Safety cushion
  • Blind spots

When practicing your kerbside stop,  find a suitable place to pull into the kerb; be aware of all the traffic and pedestrian activity around the vehicle.
Once a good spot has been found you can start to drive towards kerb. The aim is to be 20-40cm from the kerb once you have stopped, with the wheels parallel to the kerb.
If you are parking behind another vehicle, leave about a metre gap.
TIP: If you are having trouble judging the size of your vehicle, a transit line can be set up from your eye through to a point on the windscreen or bonnet to the kerb. This will help you repeat your position. LTRENT Driver Trainers can teach you this trick if you are unsure.
When the vehicle is parked, apply the park brake, select park in auto vehicles or first gear in a manual.

When you are leaving the kerb, the first step is to get the vehicle ready to go.
Start the motor and select drive or 1st gear. Make sure that there is enough room for you to the clear the car in front of you. Reverse a little bit if you need more space.
Check the mirrors to find a space to pull out into. Signal your intention to other road users with your indicator. The indicator needs to be on for five seconds before pulling out.
Just before you leave the kerb,  check your blind spot in the direction that you are moving. There could be a car pulling out of a driveway that you cannot see in your mirrors. If your blind spot check comes back clear then you can leave the kerb.

How do will you know when you are an expert at the kerbside stop?

At the highest level, you should be able to pull into a space that is about 2 car lengths long and be parallel first go in a busy traffic situation. You will also be able to pick and take an appropriate gap in busy traffic up a hill with cars parked either side of us.
More on manoeuvres: ANGLE PARK