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Safe driving tips

Breakdown Safety

If you see a broken down vehicle

Remember to slow down and be cautious if you see flashing amber hazard lights on the side of the road.

  • Flashing yellow warning lights on cars are used to draw your attention to a hazard. They are used by RAA patrols and tow trucks in the event of a breakdown. When you pass a car with flashing yellow lights, remain patient and pass with care.
  • Driving safely past a breakdown protects you and your passengers, other road users and emergency or roadside assistance workers.
  • Slow your speed and ensure the gap between your car and the car on the side of the road is adequate.
  • If you are passing an emergency vehicle with blue or red flashing lights, you must slow down to 25 km/h or a slower speed if possible.
  • Look for workers on or near the road and let them do their work safely.

If your vehicle breaks down

If your vehicle breaks down and you require roadside assistance, there are steps you can take to keep yourself safe and minimise the risk for others:

  • Be vigilant - it is often difficult for other vehicles to stop in a hurry so assess the area for risks and hazards.
  • Find a safe spot to pull over. Park the car as far left as possible.
  • Make sure you can be seen. Turn on your hazard lights. Turn on your parking lights in poor light, or raise your bonnet.
  • If you have to stay in your car, keep your seatbelt on. Move to the passenger seat if possible.
  • If it's safe to leave the car, try to exit from the left passenger side. Move to the far left of the road, away from your car and behind a safety barrier if possible while waiting for help.
  • If you need to change a flat tyre or check under the bonnet of your car, remain aware of other cars driving past. If it's not safe, call for roadside assistance.

Penalties

Under S45 Road Traffic Act 1961, a person must not drive a vehicle without due care or attention or without reasonable consideration for other persons using the road.

Use of portable warning triangles

Australian Road Rules 227 explains the use of portable warning triangles in vehicles over 12 tonnes. If the triangles are not properly placed, the driver could face prosecution and would be held liable for any crash that results from a failure to comply with these requirements.

More information

Country Driving Tips
Hazardous driving situations

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