About driving

Hazards and emergencies

Dealing with hazards

As a driver, you will constantly face hazards on the road. A hazard is any object or situation that could be dangerous.

Hazards include:

  • intersections (including driveways)
  • curves or bends in the road
  • pedestrian crossings
  • the position or movement of other road users, such as other vehicles, cyclists or pedestrians
  • changes in weather and road conditions.

To deal with hazards safely, you should get into the habit of using the hazard action plan and system of car control described in this section.

The hazard action plan

When you're driving you should always be:

  • identifying potential hazards that could affect you
  • predicting how the hazard might develop and endanger your safety
  • deciding what action to take to negotiate the hazard
  • acting on your decision by using the system of car control.

For example, if there are children playing near the kerb. They may run out after a ball or after each other. Using the system of vehicle control, choose a course as far away from the children as possible (while still keeping on your side of the road), check the mirror, use the brakes and slow down.

The system of car control

This system is a safe and simple method of driving that will help you deal with hazards safely. It ensures you are always positioned in the right place on the road, and travelling at the right speed and in the right gear.

Use this system when you approach any type of hazard.

Course: choose a safe and legal path.

Mirrors: check your mirrors frequently to see the position of all other traffic around you.

Signal: always signal if you intend to change your position on the road.

Brake: use the brakes to reduce your speed.

Gear: select the correct gear for the speed you have chosen.

Accelerate: accelerate safely to leave the hazard.

< previous | next >

Last updated: 29 May 2013