Teens with p-plates

We all want to be safe on our roads. And although we can't control what other drivers are doing, we can reduce the chances of novice, or inexperienced drivers being involved in a crash by encouraging them to avoid behaviours that increase risk.

Taking unnecessary risks, making mistakes and momentary lapses in concentration can lead to a crash. The following tips may seem like common sense, but they’re also lifesaving reminders to prompt your teen to stay safe on their journey.

These are some simple things you can discuss with novice drivers before they go to Leavers to remind them of the right thing to do while driving:

  1. Obey the law, including set speed limits – road rules are there for a reason.
  2. Be alert and ready for anything.
  3. Try to avoid driving on country roads after dusk – kangaroos don’t tend to look both ways before crossing a road. Don’t risk driving at night if you don’t have to.
  4. Never drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
  5. Travel at an appropriate speed for the conditions. If the road is unfinished, gravelly, or wet, then slow right down.
  6. Plan the drive to accommodate rest stops along the way. RAC recommends stopping to take a break, or swapping drivers at least every two hours. Take advantage of the free rest stops the government provides for longer journeys available here.
  7. Don’t drive if you are tired.
  8. Ensure your passengers are safe. Did you know as a P-plater, if their passengers aren’t wearing a seat belt, the driver will lose their licence?
  9. Try to reduce the number of passengers – lots of people in your car can be a serious distraction on the road.
  10. Put mobile phones out of reach, the consequences are not worth the photo or text. Even talking to someone on speaker increases the risk of crash by about four times. It’s also dangerous (and illegal) to check your route, or change your music while you are driving.
  11. Be vigilant of the surroundings, especially when it is the first time driving in the conditions.
  12. Drive a car with a 5-star ANCAP rating.

Most importantly, as the driver, your teen is responsible for the safety of not only themselves but their passengers and other road users. The thought of setting off for Leavers and celebrating with their friends is exciting and even overwhelming, but remind them to leave the celebrations for when they arrive at their destination safely.

Downloadable Leavers scenarios and our recommended checklist can be found here.

Useful web pages suited for Leavers:

Road Safety Commission- Games and quizzes

Road Safety Commission- Towards Zero: Road safety strategy

Department of Transport- Drive Safe: A handbook for Western Australian road users

Department of Transport- Road Rules Quiz


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