Fundamentals of the Low Risk Driver
Our low risk driver courses can teach you a great deal about driving to minimise risk. Defensive driving is just part of low risk driving. The low risk driver seeks to analyse the hazards present at all times, predict where hazards will be at greater frequency, plan to minimise the risk associated with those hazards and drive to minimise the risk.
- Always drive according to the prevailing weather conditions
- Be aware of animals, particularly at dawn and dusk
- Always be prepared for vehicles to suddenly stop in front of you or to cut in. Keep your buffer space.
- Built-up areas and country intersections- always be prepared for a vehicle to enter the road from intersections, driveways and industrial complexes.
Due to the size and weight of towing combinations, braking distances will be longer, acceleration slower and turns more difficult to make safely. The Low Risk driver always considers these things and seeks to keep and maximise the buffer space around the car.
Forward- plan well in advance. Don’t tailgate. Allow a gap of five seconds from the vehicle ahead.
Behind- Maintain your situational awareness. Be aware of following traffic. Indicate your intentions well ahead of time and be predictable.
To the sides- Stay in the middle of the lane unless it is necessary to move to one side or another to maximise buffer space. Do not swerve Allow room for doors to open in built up areas.
Underneath- Be aware of any undulations that could cause the trailer draw bar to contact the ground.
Overhead- Be aware of your vehicle height. Attach a sticker inside your windscreen advising the height
Space to turn- Many a petrol bowser has been lost or bollards crashed into by those towing trailers who forget the trailer is there. Allow room to turn.
Pulling out onto the road- Your combination will take a great deal more time to pull out. Plan this well and be patient.
Always be smooth with your gear selection. Engaging sports mode may assist with better acceleration. Sports mode holds a gear for longer, allowing higher revs
The Fifth Gear/ Overdrive Issue- There are a number of cars that suffer long term damage from towing in fifth gear. You should consult with your vehicle manufacturer to determine if this is an issue for your vehicle. Regardless, you should not be in fifth gear unless the terrain is flat.
Cruise Control- It is recommended you only use cruise control on flat open highway
Knowing where your wheels are. In our Learn To Tow courses, you get to practice cornering in various ways. What you need to be aware of is that the trailer will cut the corner. You need to allow for this.
Many drivers do not understand the implication and purpose of these signs. They permit vehicles (and combinations) that are 7.5 metres or longer to turn from the incorrect lane under certain circumstances
The driver may approach and enter the intersection from the marked lane next to the left lane if:
- The driver’s vehicle with any load or projection is 7.5m long or longer AND
- The vehicle displays a DO NOT OVERTAKE TURNING VEHICLE sign AND
- Any part of the vehicle is within 50 metres of the nearest part of the intersection AND
- It is not practical for the driver to turn from within the left lane AND
- The driver can safely occupy the next marked lane and can safely turn left at the intersection by occupying the next marked lane or both lanes.