4 safe driving tips even seasoned drivers forget
13 September 2021
Whether you’re a seasoned driver or a P-plater, you should brush up on some safe driving tips. Here are four things you should know before you hit the road.
Know how tired is too tired
Everyone knows that nodding off behind the wheel is a big no-no, but it can be tricky knowing how tired is too tired, especially when it comes to the more subtle signs of fatigue.
It’s also important to remember that it isn’t as simple as getting seven hours of sleep at night – what matters is the quality of sleep, not the number of hours.
Driver-fatigue tests like Test Your Tired Self, can help you gauge how sleep deprived you are by measuring your concentration and memory.
You should also watch out for common signs of fatigue such as:
- erratic driving behaviour,
- not being able to recall the last few miles and
- feeling sluggish.
Remember, driving while drowsy impairs you the same way drinking too much alcohol does.
Consider your reaction time
According to the Queensland government’s website, it takes roughly 1.5 seconds for the average driver to react to a hazard and hit the brakes. It may take the average family car even longer.
That’s why it’s important to anticipate road hazards and respond ahead of time, a technique known as defensive driving.
How do you practise defensive driving? For starters:
- expect others to make mistakes,
- go slower after dark – objects appear to move in slow-mo in low light conditions, and
- leave at least a 3-second gap between you and the vehicle in front of you in good conditions.
Here at Suncorp Insurance, we don’t just encourage safe driving — we reward it. If you’ve been a Comprehensive Car Insurance customer for more than two consecutive years and you haven’t made a claim where an excess was payable, you may be eligible for Claims Free Driver Rewards.
The more consecutive years you go without making a claim, the higher the discount – up to a maximum of 15%.
This may sound obvious, but distracted driving is a lot more common than we think. A recent study conducted on our behalf revealed that 25% of people have texted while driving and 31% have taken a phone call by holding the phone in their hand.
Stay safe – keep your eyes on the road and your mobiles out of the way.
Don’t drive under the influence - this includes certain prescriptions
Australia has a strict 0.05 Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) limit, and that limit is reduced to 0.00 for Learners and Probationary drivers.
Studies show that those with a 0.05 BAC reading are twice as likely to have a crash than before drinking, and those who are over a 0.08 reading are ten times more likely. So, to be on the safe side, never drive if you think you could have a BAC reading about 0.00.
And remember, alcohol takes a long time to leave your system – that’s why so many people are found guilty of drink driving the morning after a big night out.
The same principle applies for legal and illegal drugs. Most people aren’t aware that even drugs as seemingly harmless as prescription meds (for e.g. certain cold and flu tablets) can slow reflexes, blur vision and cause drowsiness. When in doubt, talk to your doctor.
Make sure you're insured
Unfortunately, accidents can still happen to the safest of drivers — that’s why you should consider car insurance.
All levels of Suncorp Car Insurance cover you for:
- legal liability for loss or damage to other people’s cars and property (up to 20 mil) and
- damage to your car by uninsured drivers (up to $5,000).
To make sure your own car is covered, check out Comprehensive Car Insurance. If your car is less than two years old and you’re the first registered owner, you may even qualify to have it replaced ‘new for old’ after a total loss – by that we mean we’ll replace it with a new car of the same make, model and series, if one is available. Otherwise, we’ll find you something similar!
- What rewards can I get for being a safe driver?
- What happens after a car insurance claim?
- The most common car insurance claims
Insurance is issued by AAI Limited ABN 48 005 297 807 trading as Suncorp Insurance. Read the Product Disclosure Statement before buying this insurance. Go to Suncorp.com.au for a copy. This advice has been prepared without taking into account your particular objectives, financial situations or needs, so you should consider whether it's appropriate for you before acting on it.