Huge mistake young drivers don’t know they are making
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Young motorists are failing to recognise a critical driving situation and putting themselves at extreme risk.
A new road safety campaign in Australia launched by the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) is targeting L- and P-plate drivers and how they drive around trucks.
The campaign – dubbed don’t *&ck with a truck – is trying to educate young drivers how to drive safely around trucks, including rules to follow when trucks are turning and stopping, as well as guidance for overtaking a truck.
NHVR boss Sal Petroccitto says: “Getting an L or P plate is a big step in a young person’s life – it is essential they have the information and skills to stay safe around trucks and develop positive long-term driving behaviours.
“Our goal is to prevent situations where a young driver could be in a lane next to a turning truck, or they pull in front of a truck too soon,” says Mr Petroccitto.
A study conducted by the NHVR of drivers aged between 16 and 25 found some concerning gaps in their road knowledge.
Alarmingly, fewer than half knew to keep one lane free either side of a truck if it is turning. This is despite trucks wearing the “do not overtake a turning vehicle” sign on its rear.
Only 30 per cent of respondents knew to only pull back in front of a truck after overtaking if you can see its headlights in your rear vision mirror.
One such young driver is Aya from Brisbane.
The 20-year-old admitted she was unsure what to do around trucks and would often speed up or slow down to keep her distance from them. She also didn’t know what the “do not overtake a turning vehicle” sign meant.
Young drivers are over represented in annual road fatality statistics.
In 2021, 211 road users aged 17-25 lost their lives. This is equal to about 19 per cent of all deaths despite this age group making up a much smaller percentage of all drivers.