HAZARD PERCEPTION AHEAD

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Australian Psychologist Volume 51, Issue 3. Invited Contribution. Email: m. Read the full text. Tools Request permission Export citation Add to favorites Track citation. Share Give access Share full text access. Share full text access. Please review our Terms and Conditions of Use and check box below to share full-text version of article. Abstract On one hand, individuals who are unfit to drive should not be allowed behind the wheel.

Citing Literature. My heavy vehicle licence.

My Licence - The Hazard Perception Test - Keeping a safe distance

Parents and supervisors. Road rules. Safe driving tips. Cycling Laws. My car licence Driving is one of the riskiest daily activities that you'll do so preparing yourself and your vehicle is vital. My motorcycle licence Riding a motorcycle is enjoyed by people of all ages. However, compared to driving other road vehicles, riding a motorcycle can place you at higher risk than others. If you are involved in a crash, the chances of being injured are very high. My heavy vehicle licence The term 'heavy vehicle' applies to the trucks, B-doubles and road trains that transport goods across Australia.

It also includes buses, trams, agricultural machinery, livestock transporters, tankers, grain and delivery trucks and other long and possibly slow moving vehicles on our roads. The following provides information on upgrading your licence to a higher class. Heavy vehicle inspections Heavy vehicle inspections required on change of ownership from Parents and supervisors Supervising a learner driver is a challenging experience. It can also be very rewarding. You'll help a young person develop the skills and attitudes they need to become a safer, smarter driver.

Road rules Is your knowledge of basic road rules up-to-date? Breaking basic road rules contributes to thousands of avoidable crashes in South Australia resulting in injuries and fatalities each year. Safe driving tips Driving involves risk and safe drivers aim to reduce and manage their risk. Visitors to South Australia Driving involves risk and safe drivers aim to reduce and manage their risk. The Hazard Perception Test Keeping a safe distance from other vehicles.

Your key to driving test success

The "space cushion" concept The more space that you have between your car and other vehicles, the more time you have to detect and respond to hazards that might arise when driving. It covers how to keep a safe distance to: the front the sides the rear. Maintaining a "space cushion" to the front This is perhaps the most important part of the "space cushion" for provisional drivers. The most common type crash involves the P driver running into the back of another vehicle.

This is also the most common type of crash for all drivers. To maintain an adequate "space cushion" to the front you need to: control your speed to suit the road and traffic conditions keep a safe distance between your car and the vehicle in front. The next two sections help you learn how to do this. Controlling your speed Speed limits, speeding and crashing Speed limit signs show the maximum speed permitted on a particular road.

It usually takes about: three-quarters of a second to see a hazard and make a decision e. The advice is simple: drive within the speed limits slow down before entering curves or bends - braking in a curve can be dangerous look for and take note of warning signs indicating curves or other hazards ahead and slow down before you get to the hazard slow to the speed recommended on the warning signs if the weather is bad or the visibility is poor, slow to a speed where you can pull up quickly if a hazard appears.

Key points summary: Keeping a safe distance from other vehicles Maintain a "space cushion" around your car - front, sides and rear. Control your speed - obey speed limits and adjust your speed to suit the conditions Tips When you are approaching a place where hazards are likely and you may need to slow or stop quickly eg pedestrian crossings or shopping areas , take your foot off the accelerator and "cover" the brake. This means that your foot is over the brake pedal but not on it. This lets you brake very quickly if you need to. Horse riders are even slower at picking up speed than cyclists and may find it very difficult to stop once committed to emerging from a side road therefore always be prepared to slow down if you see a horse rider emerging from either the left or the right ahead.

On roundabouts horse riders always keep to the left even if they are turning right. A horse rider would normally use a right hand signal to show he or she was not about to take the next exit. Horse riders.

Your Questions Answered

Be particularly careful of horse riders, especially when overtaking. Always pass wide and slow.

Horse riders are often children, so take extra care and remember riders may ride in double file when escorting a young or inexperienced horse rider. Look out for horse riders' signals and heed a request to slow down or stop. Treat all horses as a potential hazard and take great care. One of the reasons you should approach bends or narrow country roads with care and at low speed is due to the fact that a horse rider might just be around the corner. Any animals ahead represent a potential hazard particularly if they are not under the control of their owner.

Hazard Perception Test Video Introduction

Slow down and be prepared to stop, if safe to do so, when it becomes apparent that any animals ahead might or has ventured onto the road. If a road is blocked by a herd of animals, stop and switch off your engine until they have left the road. Watch out for animals on unfenced country roads. Remember when passing animals, drive slowly, give them plenty of room, avoid any sudden noise and be ready to stop. As soon as you see an animal ahead on the road click the mouse button as it will usually always represent a hazard to you. Vehicles ahead moving off or pulling up may represent a potential hazard depending upon whether they may cause you to slow down, overtake or stop.

The driver of a vehicle moving off ahead might not have seen you or may have misjudged your speed causing you to have to slow down, stop or overtake. A vehicle moving off from behind parked vehicles may also need to swing out into the road impeding progress of both following and approaching traffic. Therefore watch for any vehicles ahead moving off and assess whether it may cause you a problem. Usually an indicator signal warns you of this developing hazard ahead.

However, sometimes the signal may not be applied or may have automatically turned off as they commence the manoeuvre, therefore you should also watch out for vehicles edging out from behind a row of vehicles ahead. Alternatively, you might see the driver or passenger entering the vehicle just prior to moving off or a person waving goodbye. The problem with vehicles pulling up is usually associated with those drivers who are looking for a suitable parking place and may pull up and signal at the very last minute.

Early signs of this are vehicles which are altering speed in an erratic manner or moving road position for no apparent reason. Keep well back from drivers exhibiting such behaviour. Another problem you should be aware of with vehicles pulling up is the tendency for either the driver or the passenger to open the door without looking behind which may cause you to slow down, change position or stop. So if a vehicle ahead pulls up, watch to see if the door starts to open. Buses, coaches and trams particularly have difficulty moving off and stopping because of their size and weight.

As well as watching for indicator signals or brake lights when a bus starts to pull up the movement of passengers in the vehicle or potential passengers at the road side may also provide an early clue.

Learning How to Look Leads to Safer Drivers

For example, you may see a passenger stand up on the bus as it approaches a bus stop or you may see people at the bus stop move towards the road edge and hold out their hand. If a vehicle is pulling up determine if it can easily fit into the space it proposes to use. If not, will it cause you a problem? You may not realise it but you are required to give priority to buses, coaches and trams especially when they are moving off.

See Highway Code rule below:. Buses, coaches and trams. Give priority to these vehicles when you can do so safely, especially when they signal to pull away from stops. Look out for people getting off a bus or tram and crossing the road. Vehicles meeting are one of the most common potential hazards you are likely to come across particularly if you live in a busy suburban area where parking is at a premium.

This hazard appears whenever the road narrows so that only one vehicle can proceed at a time or where two vehicles can proceed but only very slowly. Single track country roads also present a similar problem although you are less likely to meet volumes of traffic. Sometimes approaching large vehicles can cause this situation simply because of their width. Deliberate road narrowing is also used as a traffic calming measure.

Where it is a physical feature road signs usually exist to warn you of this hazard and who, if anyone, has priority. If the road narrows due to an obstruction on your side of the road you are required to give priority to approaching traffic unless road signs state otherwise or it is clear that the opposing vehicle wants you to proceed first. If, however, stationary vehicles are parked on both sides of the road no one has priority.

Courtesy and common sense play an important role in this circumstance. Normally, the vehicle that is most likely to reach the obstruction first would assume priority and the opposing vehicle would give way. However, you also need to consider whether taking priority would stop the potential flow of traffic depending upon what was following the opposing vehicle and whether any refuges ahead exist that you could use to prevent this.

Even if the opposing vehicles do not have priority over you it may be necessary for you to give them priority to prevent a jam in the traffic flow depending upon the pattern of parked vehicles ahead and the traffic flow in either direction. People who live in the suburbs of major cities like London will in particular appreciate this problem.

Similarly, you should be prepared to give priority to larger vehicles that need more space and time to slow down or have more difficulty moving off on steep gradients. So how do you spot this potential hazard? Well firstly you need to recognise that the road ahead narrows and that progress might be impeded depending upon any approaching traffic. Then you need to assess your progress and that of any approaching traffic. This is where your ability to judge speed and distance are particularly important. If your view of approaching traffic is not clear due to a bend in the road ahead or some other obstruction you need to assess whether your current speed and position would give you time to safely react to any approaching traffic that might subsequently appear.

So if you can see that the road ahead is or will become narrower and there is approaching traffic that is likely to impede your progress you will need to click the mouse button as the potential hazard is now developing. We have already covered how cyclists and horse riders can particularly present a problem when emerging.

However, in this category we will focus on the other vehicle types that might cause a hazard when emerging. Slow moving or long vehicles can often present a hazard as they emerge from a side road. Sometimes it is difficult for the driver of the emerging vehicle to see any approaching vehicles particularly motorcyclists or properly assess their speed with the result that the vehicle emerges into the road when it is not safe to do so. You could argue that this is the fault of the emerging driver; however, this is little consolation if you are involved in an accident.

Experienced drivers appreciate how difficult it can sometimes be to emerge absolutely safely with zero risk.


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Consequently, an experienced driver would be assessing the road conditions and the junctions ahead for the tell tail signs where emerging drivers might face such problems. This is why you need to be considerate when driving, to put yourself in the position of others and remember we can all make mistakes and occasionally do. Hence the reasons for the following Highway Code rule:. So how do you recognise this potential hazard? Firstly, you may have a warning sign of a junction ahead, if so, this will be for good reason.

Perhaps a number of accidents have occurred at that spot or perhaps a bend, dip, hill or other physical feature can make emerging more difficult. While this sign provides an advance warning the hazard does not develop until you see a vehicle emerging or about to emerge, this is the point at which you need to click. However, in the real world you would start your hazard drill as soon as you recognise the potential hazard. For example, you may be approaching a side road on a busy road with lots of parked vehicles that obscure the emerging driver's view of you.

The road may be so busy that drivers in the side road may also feel under pressure to emerge.

This combination of circumstances makes it quite probable that a vehicle will emerge when it shouldn't. You should recognise this possibility and be on the look out for the front of vehicles edging out of the side road onto the main road ahead. Sometimes you can see the top of the vehicle as it is driven down the side road towards the main road or you may see its wheels under a parked vehicle or you may get a glimpse of the emerging vehicle between a gap in the hedge or row of parked vehicles.

As soon as you see the clues click the mouse button.



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