VicRoads Road to Solo Driving | Eastern Driving School

Driving Fatigue.

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Fatigue results in thousands of crashes every year.

What do we mean by “fatigue” You are fatigured when you become tired and can’t concentrate on your driving. You may even have a micro-sleep* or fall asleep at the wheel.

Micro- sleeps {nodding off} typically lasts between 2 and 20 seconds – but if you are travelling at 100 /h, in one second the car will have gone 28 m without you being in control.

How do we know?

Unlike alcohol-related crashes, there are no simple tests to determine if fatigue was a cause in a crash.

Investigators suspect fatigue as a cause when;

> The crash occurs late at night, early in the morning or late in the afternoon,

> A single car has run off the roadway.

> Nothing indicates the driver tried to avoid the crash {e.g. no skidmarks}

There are many warning signs for fatigue. A combination of any of the following signals that the driver is becoming fatigured and needs to take a break:

> yawning

> eyes feeling sore or heavy

> vision starting to blur

> start seeing things

> daydreaming and not concentrating

> becoming impatient

> feeling hungry or thirsty

> reactions seem slow

> feeling stiff or cramped

> driving speed creeps up or down

> starting to make poor gear changes

> wandering over the centre line or onto the road edge

What has research told us about fatigue?

Everybody needs sleep and we all have our own patterns of sleepiness and wakefulness. Fatigue {sometimes referred to as drowsiness or sleepiness} causes crashes because it slows down the driver’s reaction times and affects their scanning abilities and information processing skills.

> Although the need for sleep varies among individuals, sleeping eight hour in 24-hour period is common.

> The effect of sleep loss builds up. Regularly losing 1 to 2 hours sleep a night can create a “sleep debt” and lead to chronic sleepiness over time – and cause involuntary micro-sleeps.

> Just being in bed doesn’t mean a person has had enough sleep. Disrupted sleep has the same effect as lack of sleep. Illness, noise, activity, lights, etc, can interrupt and reduce the amount and quality of sleep.

Fatigue can strike any driver, but you are at greater risk as a young person if you:

> Combine heavy study or work with leisure and late night socialising.

> Change your sleep patterns and reduce night time sleep.

> Drink alcohol and or use other drugs.

Here are some ideas to minimise fatigue when you are driving:

> Plan to get sufficient and regular sleep. Most people need around 7-8 hours in every 24-hour period. Making do with less sleep will affect your driving.

> If you are sleepy or tired, don’t drink even small amounts of alcohol. Alcohol acts as a depressant on the central nervous system and can make you even more tired or less alert.

> Try not to drive during your normal sleeping hours. Your body works in a rhythm or pattern and when you upset this rhythm it can badly affect you.

> If possible take a taxi or a lift with another person rather than driving during your normal sleep times. {you can always pick your car up in the morning if you have to .

> Think about what activity you were doing before the drive. If it was physically or mentally demanding then fatigue may “kick in” within a few minutes of beginning the trip.

> Know the signs that indicate you are tired.

> If you are fatigued , you must stop driving. Let a passenger drive or take a short “power nap” before continuing with the trip.

> Fatigue can set in even on short local trips. If there is no alternative to travelling a short distance when you are tired then make sure you make your journey as uncomfortable as possible – too cold, noisy or windy for example. If this works it won’t work for long and if it doesn’t work you are putting yourself at great risk and you should stop.

 

Source: Road to Solo Driving

Turning Arrows

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Turning arrows can be tricky for someone who is just learning to drive. Though they may seem straightforward to experienced drivers, there are actually many turning rules that learner drivers may not be aware of.

Take, for example, turning lanes. If you are in the leftmost turning lane, you may turn into the left or middle lanes, but not the right lane. If you are in the right lane, you may ONLY turn into the right lane. This can get tough when you take trucks into account – remember, if a truck is in the right turning lane, you need to take extra care not to overtake it, or else you could end up running off the road! Thankfully, trucks usually turn in the leftmost lane.

Learners should also bear in mind that the turning lane lights often go through their cycle quickly. It’s important not to dawdle when you turn, otherwise you could leave the rest of the the queue with a headache. Instead, turn as quickly as it is safe to do so. You still need to leave appropriate distance between you and the incoming car though! An ESDS Driving Instructor will teach you how to balance these finicky aspects of driving, improving your skills in the long term and giving you the best chance at passing your drive test. Book your lesson today!

Safety and Reliability

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ESDS is a family-run business that you can trust. We’ve been teaching young drivers sound road skills for years, and that’s why we believe that we have some of the best experience in the business. We pride ourselves on providing a safe learning environment that encourages mature and responsible driving, as well as courtesy on the road. Driving with a professional instructor is the best way to develop proper awareness of the road rules, and ESDS can provide the reliability and reassurance essential for learning these vital skills.

Once you book an appointment with us, either online or by phone, one of instructors will spend time assessing your driving ability and any potential areas for improvement. He or she will then guide you through the driving process, giving feedback and suggestions to help you improve. Our rates include pick-up and drop-off from and to your desired location, so lessons with us are convenient and require a minimum of fuss. Before your lesson, it’s a great idea to browse our website and look through our resources for learner drivers – our FAQ section, for example, has some very useful tips and tricks. Browse around, and book your lesson today!

What is the two second rule ?

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The two second rule is about the following distance behind the vehicle in front.

The following distance is the space or gap between you and the vehicle in front.

You must keep your vehicle a safe distance from any vehicle in front of you. A safe distance should be enough to allow time to slow down and avoid trouble.

You should be at least two seconds behind the vehicle in front. You can check this by a simple test:

>> Focus on a marker in the distance such as a signpost or tree and note when the vehicle in front passes the marker, then count the number of seconds before your vehicle passes the same marker. Ask your supervising driver to also do this and compare your results.

If your count is not at least two seconds then you are to close.

At least two seconds of time and the distance this represents under ideal driving conditions are necessary to give you time to react to any changes which may happen.

Often, you may need more than two seconds,

This includes:

>> when visibility is poor

>> if conditions are dark

>> if conditions are wet or slippery

>> when you have a heavy load

>> when the road is unmade

You need to develop your judgement skills about what distance at different speeds represents two seconds. This skill will only come with lots of supervised driving experience.

But remember , under any conditions that are less than ideal, a longer gap is recommrnded.

Souce:  The Road to Solo Driving

Some Facts About Driving

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In Victoria, there are several hundred thousand crashes every year.

These crashes are not accidents – they are due to drivers making mistakes.

Not all driving mistakes result in a crash. Think about the mistakes you’ve seen drivers make without causing a crash:

-cutting off other cars

-not giving way

-misjudging gaps

-trying to overtake when it’s not safe

-just not seeing other road users

If driving is so easy, why do so many drivers regularly make mistakes, sometimes resulting in crashes?

All young drivers face the same challenges because driving is complicated. It requires a lot of time and effort to become a good driver.

Research has shown that a minimum of 120 hours of supervised practice as a learner and restrictions on new solo drivers for the first few years, can help reduce the risk of a crash. This is why Victoria has introduced the Graduated Licensing System, including the mandatory 120 hours to be completed in the Learner Log Book  by those aged under 21 years of age when applying for a Probationary Licence.

Source VicRoads Road to Solo Driving

The challenges of driving

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Facing the real challanges of driving.

New solo drivers have often done very little driving.

This can result in them having almost no experience of the real challenges of driving.

These challenges include

Variety of traffic conditions from light traffic in local streets to heavy peak hour traffic.

Extremes in weather rain,fog,or icy conditions

Different driving manoeuvres – driving in roundabouts,making U-turns or turning at different types of intersections.

Effects of the time of day on visability – night driving or sun glare when driving at dawn or dusk.

Unexpected actions of other drivers and riders-stopping quickly, merging or turning without warning.

Types of roads – freeways, roads with trams or undivided main roads.

Imperfect road surfaces – potholes,gravel or slippery surfaces.

Handling any of these challenges when faced with distractions inside the car – radio,noisy passengers or mobile phones.

The worst time to gain this experience is when you are driving solo, on your own – with no supervising driver to give you advice or help. So make the most of your time as a learner driver and don’t think that you can master the challenges of driving overnight – you’ll never really stop learning. Remember, being over confident, especially as a new solo driver can lead to making poor decisions when it counts.