Practical ways we can be safer on the roads

Sometimes it takes a major event for people to change their behaviour,” says Dan Harker. It is, after all, a major event that urged him into action and create his own advanced warning signs.

These signs are powered through solar technology which mean they’re energy efficient and really cost effective. They’re placed 200 metres before a stop sign at the intersection and LED lights flash orange when they detect an oncoming car within 130 metres of the sign. The flashing lights grab the driver’s attention, warning them that an intersection is coming so they can prepare to stop.

We’ve been supporting him from the beginning and as the trial continues nationwide, we caught up with Dan to chat about other practical ways we can help keep each other safe on the roads.

“They key thing is to look at the basics,” he says. Basic road rules and safety tips apply like fastening your seatbelt and knowing that yellow lines are there for a reason. Not using your cellphone while driving is one of them too as well as ensuring that we are aware of our surroundings on the road.

“Make sure you’re aware of your surroundings. Just because you drive a road all the time doesn’t mean it’s always going to be the same all the time. Conditions change and other people on the road too – you have to take in all those different factors. Especially around intersections.”

Same goes with using social media while driving. It’s a major no-no to film yourself for your Snapchat or Instagram story while driving, no matter how careful you think you’re being. It’s simply just not worth the risk.

“One small mistake shouldn’t cost five and that’s why we try to minimise risks by having people just drive a little bit better. Just because you think you’re a good driver doesn’t mean that other people on the road are, so be prepared to do things to mitigate that risk.”

“It all comes down to distraction,” reiterates Dan, “If you’re too worried about other things like your phone or your social media when you’re driving, you might be driving nice and straight but that doesn’t mean that the person in front of you won’t brake suddenly or that the person on the other side of the road swerves to your side of the road. You still have to make the decision to get out of the way. It’s not just your own driving but it’s avoiding accidents that other people create and if you’re distracted then that’s less likely to happen.”

“If everybody stopped at stop signs, if everybody sticks to the speed limit, we’ll have less accidents on the roads."