Do you make these common driving mistakes?

OK, it’s been years since you sat your driving test, and now you’re an experienced driver. You may even be teaching your children how to drive.

As it’s been so long since you undertook a drivers test or studied up on the road rules – what driving mistakes do you make – almost every day?

Here’s a list of the worst driving mistakes and how to drive correctly for each!

Roundabouts

Approaching a roundabout

Drivers approaching a roundabout must use their indicator if they intend to turn left or right, or make a U-turn at the roundabout. They must give other road users sufficient notice of their intent to turn.

Making a U-turn

When using a roundabout to make a U-turn, drivers must approach in the right lane and signal right.

Changing lanes in a roundabout

Drivers may change lanes in a roundabout if they wish. The usual road rules for changing lanes apply. Drivers must use their indicator and give way to any vehicle in the lane they are entering.

Exiting a roundabout

Just like exiting any road, drivers must signal left when leaving a roundabout, if it is practical to do so, and stop indicating as soon as they have exited the roundabout.

When travelling straight ahead on a small single lane roundabout, it may be impractical to indicate left when exiting.

All drivers are required to drive carefully and slow down or stop when there is a chance of a crash with another vehicle.

Giving way to pedestrians when turning

If a driver is turning left or right at an intersection, the driver must give way to any pedestrian crossing the road the driver is entering. This applies to intersections with and without traffic lights.

Keeping left

On multi-lane roads with a speed limit of more than 80km/h, motorists must not drive in the right-hand lane unless they are:

  • overtaking
  • turning right or making a U-turn
  • avoiding an obstacle
  • driving in congested traffic
  • driving in a special purpose lane or if there is a “Left Lane Must Turn Left” sign or a left traffic arrow and the driver is not turning left.

If a “Keep Left Unless Overtaking” sign is displayed, the requirement applies regardless of the speed limit.

Using headlights and fog lights

High beam

A driver must not use their headlights on high beam if travelling:

  • less than 200m behind a vehicle travelling in the same direction
  • less than 200m from an oncoming vehicle.

It is an offence to flash the vehicle’s headlights unless the vehicle is being used to respond to an emergency.

Lights

When driving at night, or in conditions where there is insufficient daylight to render a person dressed in dark clothing discernible at a distance of 100m, a driver’s vehicle must have clearly visible:

  • headlights
  • tail lights
  • number plate lights
  • clearance lights and side marker lights if they are fitted to the vehicle.

It is recommended that in some daytime situations driving with the vehicle’s headlights on can improve the likelihood of being seen by other road users.

Safe following distances

Drivers must keep sufficient distance behind a vehicle travelling in front of them to safely avoid a collision.

Safe following distances may vary depending on the conditions, the type of vehicle and the speed at which the vehicle is travelling. As a general rule, when following a vehicle, the driver should travel three seconds behind the vehicle in front to provide sufficient time to avoid a crash.

Yellow traffic lights

A yellow (amber) traffic light or arrow means stop. It’s a mistake to think it means speed up!

A driver approaching traffic lights showing a yellow traffic light must stop if the driver can stop safely before reaching the stop line or traffic lights.

Penalties apply for drivers who fail to stop at a yellow light, unless it is unsafe to do so.


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