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Wet Weather driving

Driving in Sydney’s wet weather this week I couldn’t help but make the observation that few drivers seem to adapt their driving style to the conditions at hand. It is obvious that many have little idea of their cars capabilities in such conditions and few tailor distances to suit the lower grip levels. Tailgating is an ever increasing problem – impatience a key factor in many accidents. Few driver’s today read the traffic situation ahead and tailor their driving accordingly. What is all so evident is the use of mobile phones and texting whilst driving. Quite clearly it is the biggest issue facing road safety at this time along with fatigue. A recent survey in Western Australia found 57 per cent of driver’s admitted to regularly text whilst driving. Obviously a $400 fine and three demerit points is not a big enough deterrent today and despite extensive advertising campaigns few take heed. Obviously more needs to be done with electronic controls to deactivate phones whilst in the car. Studies show that using mobile phones while driving result in lower reaction times to unexpected event, reduce the functional visual field of the driver and can result in driver’s missing traffic lights. Running red lights is a major issue. I see driver’s run traffic lights on a regular basis, trucks particularly not wishing to stop and go through extensive gear changing are fairly common culprits. The implications are enormous as witnessed this week and the fines and demerit points need to be better tailored accordingly. I’m David Berthon

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