Mike Stevens | Sep 25, 2008

In an update that won't really surprise anyone who's had to drive on public roads with other motorists, it turns out that a large number of Australian road users do not know the rules of the road.

Insurer Budget Direct recently surveyed 1000 motorists across Australia who were over 25, asking them basic questions about road rules.

About half of the people surveyed had no idea how to use a multi-lane roundabout correctly, and around 20% did not know which car has 'right-of-way' in a T-intersection.

Driving across lanes on a roundabout, or blithely diving into the path of traffic in a T-intersection is a great way to have an accident, yet our governments, regulators and their enforcement arms keep focusing on speed at the exclusion of training and driver skill.

(Low performance drivers, logically, are a greater danger than high performance cars.)

Driver education is more than just teaching people how to control and recover from a slide on a wet skid-pan. That may help, but there's plenty of theory-based knowledge that needs to be imparted to drivers of all levels of experience. It's knowledge that needs to be reinforced, and re-tested.

A driver does not need to drive like a so-called 'hoon' (the tabloids love that word) to be a danger on the road. They don't need to exceed the speed limit or street race. No, if they don't know the basic road rules - they're a danger at any speed to themselves and other drivers.

That 20% can potentially dive out of a cross-street at a T-intersection, because they don't know they have to give way, sure as hell scares me. What about you?

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