Traffic crashes are responsible for many deaths in Australia each year. As a new driver, you can help lower the rate of fatal crashes by being aware of the top driving dangers and knowing how to avoid or minimize them. So what are some ways you can become a safer driver?

Make sure you are not distracted.

With the rise of cellphone use, more and more people end up driving distracted. While answering that text may seem important at the moment, it is not worth your life or the life of someone else. Make sure you have your phone put away while you drive. Concentrate on the road. You should also avoid other distractions. Don’t eat, drink, apply makeup, or perform other activities that take away your concentration while you drive.

Never drive while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Drink driving is one of the leading causes of traffic crashes, and driving under the influence of drugs also puts drivers at a much higher risk of crashes. This step is simple. Never drive while intoxicated or under the influence of any substances. Call someone to pick you up. Have a designated driver. Call a taxi. Do whatever you must do to get home safely without getting behind the wheel yourself.

Don’t drive tired.

Driving while you are exhausted can also cause traffic crashes. Quite simply, when you are tired, your brain is not functioning at its full potential. Your reflexes are slowed, and if someone swerves into you, you simply may not be able to react in time to protect yourself. If you are so tired that you’re finding it hard to concentrate, take a nap before you get in your car.

Make sure you understand the rules of the road.

The majority of traffic crashes are simply caused by careless driving. When drivers forget the rules of the road or simply ignore them, it can create extremely dangerous situations. This is why you need to make sure that you take a high quality driving course when studying to get your license. Knowing who gets the right of way at an intersection, for example, is extremely important for your safety and the safety of the drivers on the road with you.

If you follow these four steps, you should be well on your way towards becoming a safe and responsible driver.

About the Author: Hannah Bessinger is an outreach specialist and writer. She enjoys writing about current events, health topics, and various legal topics. You can reach her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or follow @hannahbessinger on Twitter.