EDUCATION

Sharp Drive Talk About Driving Hazzards & Risk Reduction

Wednesday 26 February 2020, 3:21PM
By Beckie Wright
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Anyone who has driven a lot, whether for their job or privately, knows that anticipation is everything. Anticipation, which is achieved by ‘eyes up’ driving. Many of Sharp Drive’s courses deal with recognising driving hazards and responding to them with the right risk reduction strategies. Combinations of hazards occurring together make every situation different, but by applying the principles and actions you have been learning you can reduce the crash risks for any driving situation.

You need to identify the hazards and assess the risk potential, and predict how they might affect you, then take actions to eliminate or reduce that risk. Plan your course and check there is enough of a gap or space for your intended path. For every manoeuvre, check the space behind you in your mirrors and always follow a mirror check with a glance over your shoulder for your blind spots. Signal your intention for at least three seconds.

It is very helpful to other drivers to indicate as early as possible, without being misleading, as not indicating in time can inconvenience other drivers and even cause ‘road rage’. Risk factors can be broadly grouped into these driving conditions. Driver, vehicle, weather, light, road and traffic.

The Eyes-up Driving module shows how to develop situational awareness and apply the 12 second rule, learning to quickly identify anything unfamiliar in any situation, and adjust your response accordingly. Look out for the unexpected, clues that other vehicles aren’t doing what they should or what they have indicated.

Quick, accurate right of way decision making is based on sound Road Code knowledge, speed judgement, distance judgement, vehicle handling confidence and ability under acceleration, braking and steering, patience and tolerance, consistently following the two and four second rules.

Crashes involve vehicles of every shape and size, from bikes and motorbikes to large trucks or even a horse and cart, both stationary and moving. Pedestrians and kids on skateboards are significant hazards when we are moving past. Pass the Sharp Drive Course and avoid having to learn from bad judgement calls, and for more information on online safety driving courses, driver safety online courses and advanced driver training please go to http://www.sharpdrive.co.nz .