Avoiding Common Crash Situations

1. Same direction crash

Currently the most common crash in Australia is the rear end collision. Many people don’t take into account that the car in front will stop immediately if it is involved in a crash. A minimum following distance of 3 seconds between moving cars is recommended (more in wet weather or poor driving conditions). This gives the driver time to react and brake in the event of trouble in front. To check your following distance - wait until the car in front passes a stationary object, such as a telegraph pole, and commence counting. You should be just reaching 3 seconds as your bonnet gets in line with the same object.

2. Adjacent direction

Many crashes happen when a car fails to give way at an intersection. This is often because they fail to see the other vehicle. This can be for a number of reasons such as the light, obstructions or simply carelessness. Whatever the reason when we travel along priority roads we cannot assume that the vehicles in the side streets will give way. If there is any doubt in your mind as to whether the other driver has seen you, a good solution is to simply prepare to brake. This helps to reduce reaction time.

3. Opposite direction

A common opposite direction crash is where a head on vehicle turns across your path. These crashes are often due to poor gap selection by the turning vehicle. It is very difficult to judge the speed of an approaching vehicle head on. It is equally difficult to judge if a vehicle waiting to turn has started to move. Anytime there is a vehicle waiting in the centre of the road wanting to turn in front of you, prepare to brake.

4. Off path in a curve

Excessive speed is often the cause of vehicles running off the road in a corner. The best solution is to slow your vehicle down as soon as vision drops and continue to slow until your vision increases. Once you can see that the road ahead is clear and you have good vision, you can begin to accelerate out of the corner. Remember advisory signs are a recommended maximum for a car in good conditions.

5. Off path in a straight

This crash is often the result of people swerving to miss a perceived hazard. With modern traffic densities and the increased activity on the side of the road swerving can no longer be considered a safe way to avoid a crash. This has put more pressure on us to improve our observation skills and respond by slowing down as soon as we perceive the first signs of danger.