RAA is urging motorists to take care on the roads during the winter school holidays – which is also a great time for learner drivers to gain experience in challenging conditions with their supervising driver.
RAA Senior Manager Safety and Infrastructure Charles Mountain said driving in winter brought extra challenges, including reduced visibility and slippery roads that affect vehicle behaviour and increase stopping distances.
“With South Aussies travelling to regional locations during school holidays we’re urging road users to take extra care to ensure we don’t add to the number of lives lost on our roads so far this year,” Mr Mountain said.
“Before heading off, check that all tyres have at least 1.5mm of tread across their full width, wipers are working effectively and it’s a good idea to turn on your headlights when it’s raining to ensure other road users can see you.
“Remember to drive to the conditions allow extra time for your vehicle to come to a stop if the road is wet.
“When driving in metropolitan areas, be aware pedestrian crashes increase by around 47 per cent in Adelaide during winter.
“Be extra careful to check for pedestrians at crossings and cyclists in bike lanes. Remember to give way to any pedestrians and cyclists that may be crossing the road that you’re turning into.”
“It’s recommended that pedestrians use a designated crossing point even if it means walking a few extra steps, and ensure traffic has stopped at a crossing before entering.”
Mr Mountain also said school holidays is a convenient time for learner drivers to progress their driving skills while completing the minimum 75 hours of driving required.
“Crash data shows P1 drivers are involved in six times the number of crashes compared with supervised learner drivers, so it’s vital to do more than the bare minimum required before you get your provisional licence.
“The winter holiday period is a great time to get out experience some more challenging conditions.
“Feedback we hear from supervising and learner drivers is that many aren’t as confident with lane merges and roundabouts, so practice those as well. With your supervising driver, start with quieter locations and progress to more challenging ones – experience helps to build both knowledge and confidence.
“Learner drivers planning on driving interstate should check whether on any conditions that are different in the state that you’ll be driving in. Some states have a lower speed limit applicable to learner drivers, for example so check beforehand.
“If you have any questions, contact RAA Road Safety on 8202 4517.”
Supervising drivers can refresh their knowledge online with the RAA learner quiz, and by reviewing the current version of The Driving Companion and The Driver’s Handbook to extend their up-to-date knowledge to learner drivers.