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Road Rules That Time Forgot

Driving a car seems to be, for some people, one of the hardest things to do. Not necessarily the act of driving itself, but some of the legal requirements that will make your drive, and theirs, safer.

Some surveys state that the number one peeve of drivers is others that don’t indicate. That’s a fair point, as far too many drivers don’t do that on the straight road but did you know it’s also a requirement when merging from a freeway/highway on/off ramp? It also ties in with the relatively simple yet seemingly over complicated act of merging.

Here’s how it should work: you’re on the merge lane and the road you’re coming to is on your right. The first thing you should be doing is be looking for the traffic that will be coming up behind you. This is where the law AND common sense come into play. Merge LaneIndicate right; not once, not twice, but until you’ve entered the left hand lane from the merge lane. At the same time you should have either accelerated or slowed in order to “zip merge”.

A tip: if you’re on the highway and coming to a section where it’s clear there’s a merge lane, move right, allow the incoming traffic to do so with a higher safety factor.
By setting up your approach speed correctly, you’ll aid in keeping the flow of traffic up plus, by using your indicator, you’ll give plenty of warning to the highway or freeway traffic and you may even see them do the right thing and move right.

Another road safety tip involving indicating is when you pull over or leave from a roadside location. Let’s say you’ve just got a call on your mobile phone and you haven’t got it bluetoothed to your car. It’s a call you need to take; when pulling over to the left, onto the verge and off the road, indicate to show following traffic you’re doing so. When ready to continue, it’s a legal requirement that you indicate right BEFORE entering back into the flow of traffic.indicators

Wet weather driving seems to be more fraught with danger than what it should be. The simplest safety tip you can take advantage of is to ensure your headlight switch, if fitted with Off/Auto instead of Off, is to switch it to Auto. It’s also legislation that your headlights should be switched on once it’s sunset however there’s good sense in having them on anyway. The New South Wales Roads and Maritime Services says:” Headlights. In many daytime situations driving with your vehicle’s headlights on can improve the likelihood of being seen by other road users. This applies to both country and city driving situations. Your headlights must be on when:

Driving between sunset and sunrise
At any other time when there is not enough daylight to be able to see a person wearing dark clothing at a distance of 100 metres.”

If your car has driving lights fitted, as most modern cars do, they’ll be visible to the cars in front but your tail lights won’t be on until the Auto function kicks in or you move your light switch to the next setting. Simple, and safety is raised.

Finally, a hint on roundabouts. These are, surprisingly, seen as a complex item to deal with but here’s how to make them easy to live with.
If it’s a roundabout that is a four way entry and exit and you wish to go left, you indicate left.roundabout-left If you’re going straight ahead, you indicate left once you’ve reached the half way point between entering the roundabout and exiting.roundabout-straight If you’re going right, you indicate right as you enter then left to show you’re exiting. The same applies to all three way roundabouts.roundabout-right