The Safe Driver Today site aims to provide drivers and potential drivers with information, services and products to improve your road safety and the road safety of your community.
Here are some of the more frequently asked questions and answers about the Driver Character Quiz. Click on the little + on the right hand side of the page or double click the question to see the answer.
Q: Why does Safe Driver Today collect the information requested?
A: This information is generally used to categorise the driver and highlight areas where they can improve their road safety.
Q: Why are you asking me whether I'm a man or a woman?
A: Men are more likely to be fatally or seriously injured than females (in Victoria during 2011-2016, 71% of fatal injuries and 63% of serious injuries were male). In fact, research from the Australian Transport Safety Bureau in the early 2000s indicated that up to the age of 40, male drivers were much more likely to be killed per kilometre driven than females. But after the age of 60 women were more likely to be killed per kilometre driven.
Q: What impact does the type of vehicle I drive have on road safety?
A: The type of vehicle you drive can have a major impact on the safety of the driver or on the safety of people in other vehicles that the vehicle may crash into. For example the fact that motor cycles are less stable and have less protection for the user than cars make them much less safe.
Q: Does the age of my car matter in terms of road safety?
A: The average safety of a a vehicle (likelihood of vehicle occupants being killed or seriously injured in a crash) is significantly better for newer vehicles than older vehicles. However, the relative safety of different types of vehicles manufactured in a specific year varies considerably and some older vehicles have similar safety values to newer vehicles.
In addition, newer vehicles are more likely to have features (e.g. electronic stability control) which reduce the chances on the vehicle being involved in a crash. If you want to check out how safe your car is you can go to http://www.howsafeisyourcar.com.au and check it out.
Q: Why are you asking for my age range?
A: The relative safety of drivers of different ages varies. Young and older drivers are more likely to have a crash on a per kilometre driven basis.
Q: Why do you want to know what kind of license I have?
A: The other questions may change slightly depending on your drivers licence status. There’s not much point in asking someone on their “L” plates whether they use their mobile phone or drive with alcohol because they are not supposed to be doing that ….
Q: Why does it matter if I often have children or animals in the vehicle?
A: Children or animals may distract the driver and reduce their relative safety. Not that you can do much about having the kids in the car, but being aware that distractions can be dangerous may help you in being prepared for dealing with those distractions.
Q: Oh, come on! Everyone speeds just a little! So what does it matter if I speed too?
A: That could be true, but … research has indicated that driving above the speed limit is less safe than driving at the speed limit. Even low level speeding can have a significant impact. Research shows that for each 5km/h increase in travel speed above a 60 km/h limit, the risk of a collision resulting in death doubles. And remember, this is all about making the road safer, not more dangerous!
Q: So what if I drive when I'm still a bit hungover? I can handle it.
A: Once again, it’s about making the more, not less, safe. Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs means you are less in control … even if you feel fully in control … so it’s less safe than driving without being under their influence. Just don’t do it!
Q: What do my meds have to do with being a safe driver? I have to take them because my doctor said so.
A: Some medications can impact on your ability to recognise and respond quickly to what is happening around you. And that makes you a less safe driver. So if you are concerned, talk to your doctor about whether your medication may be affecting you. If your medication could be affecting you, you can see what they think can be done about it … either by changing your medication or by suggesting you limit your driving to times when the impact of the medication is less strong.
Q: Why do you want to know what time of night I do most of my driving?
A: Some research has indicated that driving at times that are normal sleeping times is significantly less safe than driving at other times. There are also indications that this is so even for those who are used to driving at those hours, such as shift workers.
Q: Why do you want to know how much sleep I normally get?
A: Being fatigued or tired because you’ve only gotten a small number of hours of sleep can significantly reduce your safety of a driver. In fact, research has shown that lack of sleep can impact on your driving as much as driving drunk can.
Q: What's the problem with using my mobile phone while driving?
A: Research has indicated that being distracted by using a mobile phone while driving can make a driver considerably less safe. In fact, some research has suggested that some activities (e.g. texting) are more risky than others. So whatever you use your phone for while driving, think ahead about the impact it could have on your ability to drive safely.
Q: Does it matter how many hours I drive a week?
A: It depends … common sense would say that it could be expected that the more a driver increases their exposure to a potential crash the more likely they are to be involved in a crash, although detailed research in this area is limited. In addition drivers may experience fatigue if they drive continuously for a long period.
Q: Why do you want my email address?
A: Safe Driver Today will use your email address to provide you with information relating to road safety for you and your community, and information on products and services which may improve your or your community’s road safety. If you want to know more about how we use the information you provide go back to the top of the page to the section entitled “Why does Driver Safety Today collect the information requested?” to see an explanation.