Safe Driving Behaviours

Written by Andrew Coates

As road safety specialists, Streetwise Driver Training over the past 9 years been privileged to train thousands of Learners at all ages and stages, we have systematically identified the driving skill adoption patterns and driving behaviour trends of Learners, through to open- Solo drivers. This has enabled Streetwise to develop a unique and tailored Traffic Offender “Intervention” half day training program, which teaches safe driving behaviours and acts as a court diversion program. The purpose of this training is to interrupt the complacent driving patterns and addresses the attitudes behind offending driving behaviours.


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How to support your new solo P Plater

Written by Andrew Coates

The scariest time in a Parent’s life is the day they wave their brand new P Plater out of the driveway as the excited P Plater embarks on their first independent drive.  If parents felt vulnerable throughout the 100 hour logbook process with only a handbrake and a loud voice to keep both of them safe … Now they have to entrust those hours of practice and lessons learned to their excited P Plater, in that they will come home in one piece. 

As a driving instructor having conducted thousands of driving tests, this is a common conversation I have with Mum or Dad on the day they pass their practical driving test.  Also as the first trainer on the Gold Coast offering the national government funded program keys2drive, I have been remind parents for the last 7 years that a P Plater is more likely than not to have a crash in the first 6 months of solo driving.  What we promote in this free driving lesson is that to hold the good habits you have taken on in those 100 hours is simply a “conscious choice” to continue using them in those first 6 months of ‘independence’.  Young drivers are more likely to maintain good driving habits and less likely to crash by maintaining a “mindful’ approach to their driving during this period.


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Parenting plan for driving with your learner driver

Written by Andrew Coates

PARENTS/SUPERVISORS ….. PREPARE YOUR TRIPS FOR YOUR LEARNER TO GIVE THEM THE BEST CHANCE TO BUILD SKILLS ….!!!

A call out to Parents….. Every day we meet new Learners who are being guided by a mixture of intrepid and excited parents getting them started with their logbooks. We would like to offer some tips to ensure their smooth set up process to build the safest skills possible.

  1. FIRST THINGS FIRST ……

We have many parents who get really excited about their kids being able to drive and jump many steps in the learning process to take them straight out on the Motorway or show them reverse parking……. albeit some Learners are quite capable, the early learning stages require that a Learner can steer correctly (push – pull), balance pedals and steering, navigate roundabouts and indicating off them, take off correctly and stop appropriately and maintain speed correctly. These skills are the building blocks to all other complex driving skills, it is imperative to ensure beginner drivers establish these habits first.


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7 Reasons Cheap Driving Lessons Are Not Value For Your Money

Written by Andrew Coates

Being a long term and committed driving school on the Gold Coast we have seen numerous driving schools (one man bands) come and go through the years. In the long run these students who are often looking for the cheapest deal at the time end up finishing their lessons and driving test with Streetwise. Here are the following 7 reasons students and their parents tell us that they have not been happy with the previous driving school offering ‘cheap’ driving lessons:

  1. One ‘man’ or ‘woman’ band driving schools answer their phones during their driving lessons in order to set up bookings. As they don’t have an office to dedicate to bookings and customer service they compromise driving lessons in order to fill their diary. This is unprofessional, against the code of conduct for Driver Trainers and eats into your precious lesson time and it is especially unprofessional as they are not focusing on teaching you!! What does it say about the driving instructor/driving school standards if they are occupied on their phone whilst teaching you to drive…..!
  2. Cheap driving lessons mean the driving instructor wants to save fuel and running costs of their vehicle and will often keep you only in your local area, which means you are not obtaining the variety of teaching required on the various road situations. They tend not to teach life skills such as parking, therefore not really teaching the Learner what they will need beyond their driving test. Often cheap driving lessons mean a new driving instructor in the area or industry which means they may not have the local knowledge, test route knowledge or general teaching experience to maximize the content of your driving lesson, so it takes you twice as many lessons to learn what is necessary to achieve your learn to drive goals!
  3. As a driving school business offering $50 driving lessons, it is not sustainable and most one man/woman band schools close down within a short time, leaving their students in the lurch with pre-paid packages, driving tests, whereby you need to go and find a new driving instructor and develop the relationship all over again anyway. We receive a few calls a week from students who’s last driving instructor closed down the week before their driving test – this becomes a very stressful process for you at the most important time of your learning process!
  4. Cheap lessons tend to mean cheap driving tests, this suits many driving instructors as they don’t care if you fail, as you will need to pay again to sit the practical driving test “again”. Cheap driving tests often mean that the driving school will offer only a 30-40 minute lesson prior to your driving test, rather than the full hour, to cut their time and costs down.
  5. Some of these driver trainers will offer cheap driving lessons if you do the lesson in your own vehicle, which compromises safety and your insurance should something go wrong, again another way that some instructors try to save on the running costs of their own vehicle whilst exposing you in yours!
  6. The long term cost of correcting all the bad habits that you have been taught through a single man/woman operation that does not have the time to ensure they are up to date with best practice teaching methods, road rule changes and driving test criteria. For example a driving school teaching you to skip gears in a manual to later find out through a professional school this is incorrect, takes more lessons (time/money) to correct such driving habits. Most importantly this undermines the confidence of the Learner in having to re-educate them after they have been taught incorrectly.

If you have experienced any of the above it would be worth questioning your driving instructor and ensuring that you are really getting what you pay for.


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What to expect in your driving test

Written by Andrew Coates

What to expect in your driving test

We receive calls daily from students and parents wanting to understand the driving test processes and procedures. Here is some vital information to know about how the driving tests work.
The test is for a minimum of 35 minutes, maximum 40 minutes if there is some traffic. There is a requirement to review 2-3 manoeuvres, as the Examiner can select anyone of the following manoeuvres you must be proficient in all of them, as you won’t know what ones they will ask you to do (your knowledge and demonstration is required for both auto or manual);
• Straight reverse exercise
• Three point turn / Turn around manoeuvre
• U-turn on T-intersections (straight, right and left)
• Reverse Parking
• Hill Starts
• Gears (automatic demonstration)
Along with being assessed on a couple of manoeuvres you will also be required to demonstrate safe driving in many of the following driving situations:
• Lane changing
• Marked / unmarked roads
• High speed merging
• Low speed merging
• Roundabouts
• Controlled and uncontrolled stops and give ways
• Multi-lanes
• Cross roads
• High and low speed
• Various speed zones
• Road work / School zones
You need to make sure you have your form “Driver Licence Application/Renewal” to save time when you arrive at the test centre at there is only 10 minutes between your arrival time and the test booking start time. Ensure you have your licence on you; there is nothing worse than turning up to find you left your licence at home!
If you are doing a driving test package with a driving school like us, you will have an hour’s lesson prior to arrival at the test centre. We ensure that you have had time to go through all of your manoeuvres and driving situations on driving test routes. This helps to calm you down, correct any issues and have you focused on the job at hand – safe driving! If you are doing the driving test in your own vehicle, make sure it is roadworthy, check tyres, window washers/wipers, lights and indicator globes are functional and that your windows roll down and up – these are things a driving school ensure are OK prior to picking you up for your lesson.
The lead up to the test is nerve-wracking for everyone; remember we all have to go through this process. The examiners understand that you are going to be a bit nervous; they are not there to “fail” you rather their job is to ensure your ability to drive safe on different roads and in varying road conditions and speed zones. Make sure you drink water, eat something prior to calm the nerves and give yourself plenty of time to be ready – rushing is no good for nerves!
During the test angle the air con vents to blow a little on your face or hands to keep you altert and remember to use all of your give way and Stop signs to take a deep breath and look around and prepare for your next step.
If you want more information or would like to be assess for your readiness for the driving test please call Streetwise. We also do “mock” driving tests to help you prepare!


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Why we indicate off roundabouts

Written by Andrew Coates

Why we indicate off roundabouts

WHY WE INDICATE OFF ROUNDABOUTS MADE SIMPLE!

There are many people that don’t indicate off roundabouts, or if they do they get us more confused that need be.  In Queensland it is a policed law to indicate off roundabouts.


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Locking doors whilst driving a vehicle

Written by Andrew Coates

Locking doors whilst driving a vehicle

There are many discussions around the safety of locking doors whilst driving, some argue that if it is locked it is more difficult to remove passengers in the event of a serious crash.  When there is an impact, often the doors are pushed in and don’t open, whether they were locked or unlocked, the impact often damages doors which can jam them anyway.


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How to reverse a vehicle and reversing direction clarified

Written by Andrew Coates

How to reverse a vehicle and reversing direction clarified

Almost all Learners and many fully licensed people get confused with their direction when reversing their vehicle.

Which is understanding, if you think about it, we spend most of our lives driving “forwards”, of course our minds are always referencing where we want the front of the vehicle to go… ie. The front passenger side of the car moves to the left when we turn left and then the drivers front side moves to the right when we turn right – this of course sounds quite simple to most people.


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Three biggest mistakes parents make when teaching their children to drive

Written by Andrew Coates

Three biggest mistakes parents make when teaching their children to drive

In the thousands of driving lessons we have conducted over the years there are some really common initial mistakes that parents tend to make when getting in the car for the first time with their Teenage Learner;


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Safety tips when being confronted with Road Rage

Written by Andrew Coates

Safety tips when confronted with Road Rage

Sadly there are too many drivers in a rush, running late, not focused, angry and abusive on our roads.  The mood other people are in unfortunately is out of our control, what we can control though is how we react to situations and taking measures to avoid them. Fortunately here on the Gold Coast it isn’t that bad, but it only takes one idiot on the road to ruin that.


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