It’s all about the basics
When it comes to road safety, the two most important things you can influence are the condition of your vehicle and your ability to drive it with care and concentration.
Maintaining your vehicle in optimum condition is a partnership involving you and your local repairer.
You should regularly conduct a visual check of your vehicle, looking for tyre wear, and whether your seatbelts, lights (including indicators and brake lights) are functioning correctly, and if there is any dangerous body or windscreen damage.
Keeping your vehicle serviced and maintained by a trusted automotive technician is crucial.
A thorough professional inspection using up-to-date specialist equipment can detect dangerous deficiencies, like worn brake pads and leaking brake lines, degraded suspension components, and misaligned wheels.
Before driving, ensure your seat is in a comfortable position and that your feet and hands can easily operate the pedals, steering wheel, and handbrake. Check the positioning of the interior and exterior mirrors (paying particular attention if towing).
When on the road, obey all speed and traffic signage. Keep a safe distance (depending on your speed, this will mean several car lengths or more), be courteous, don’t rush, and try to anticipate what other road users may do.
Consider taking an advanced driver training course. Actively participating in motorsport events is also a great way to improve your driving skills – if that’s your thing.
Importantly, never stop learning. Road safety is not everyone else’s responsibility. It is yours. So, make sure you and your vehicle are fit for the road.
Words: VACC CEO, Geoff Gwilym. As featured in the Herald Sun 27 November 2020.