The Fatal 5: Vital Advice for Young Drivers on Road Safety

By Michelle

While most youngsters think having a driving license is cool, they find safe driving to be lame or unfashionable. Despite learning the main principles and rules of driving in a driving school, they still forget that simply looking cool won’t save lives. Being safe and responsible on the road is the only way to protect yourself as well as others on the road. Vehicles today are much safer, with many security features pre-installed to protect drivers and passengers from injury. But even the best vehicles cannot be accident-proof. It’s a sad fact that road accidents are the second biggest cause of death in Australia.

Despite learning the principles of defensive driving and the fatal five causes of road collisions, drivers often drive carelessly and with abandon. Drivers need to understand how devastating accidents are and how it affects everyone involved. It is imperative to cultivate safe driving habits in new drivers so that we can reduce the number of road deaths due to the fatal five, gradually and efficiently.   


According to a recent study by the Australian government, speeding is the biggest cause of road crashes, closely followed by drunk driving. And new drivers are often leading the statistics due to their inexperience and casual attitude. The government recognises the five most common causes of fatal road accidents as the fatal five. All driving schools and instructors should educate new drivers regarding the Fatal Five and their implications. Here are the fatal five reasons in brief: 

01 Distracted Driving

During driving, anything that makes the driver lose focus can be termed as a distraction. It can also vary according to individuals. For example, some may listening to music while driving distracting, while it may be soothing for others. The most common distractions for drivers are eating, listening to music, and trying to perform other tasks like adjusting the radio or doing hair or makeup. Mobile phones and other electronic media used for infotainment are usually the biggest distractions causing drivers to lose focus. 

Tips to Avoid:  Driving requires focus and alertness. A distraction of a few seconds can also be fatal when on the road. Whether it's eating food or listening to music, if it distracts you from driving, you should avoid it. A good policy is to turn your phone and other electronic devices off before driving. Make sure to eat before or after the drive and keep all your necessary belongings in front of you for easy access. If you need to set your GPS, adjust the mirrors, or set the sound systems, do it before starting to drive.

02 Speeding

Speeding is often the main cause of accidents all over the world. This is because most new and young drivers go over the speed limit in either excitement or boredom. They don’t have the patience to maintain the speed limit and are often unaware of the consequences of speeding. Sometimes, inexperience and inability to gauge the correct speed in certain road environments are also the cause. Speeding is a punishable offence in Australia and any good Sydney driving school or equivalent in other states should make the students aware of the implications of speeding.

Tips to Avoid: Young drivers often think of speed limits as unnecessary rules not worthy of being followed. And this arrogance along with their inexperience is often the cause of many road accidents. It is important to instil in our young drivers the importance of speed limits and the dangers of crossing them. To manage speeding, driving instructors should teach young drivers to use features like cruise control and keep their eyes open for speed limits. 

03 Driving under the influence

Just like speeding, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a big reason for road collisions in the world. When under the influence of drugs or alcohol, we often lose control of our senses. It becomes hard to focus and motor skills are also affected. Drinking and drugs can also temporarily impair your judgment of depth, distance, etc. making driving a fatal activity for both the driver as well as others on the road.

Tips to avoid: Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is extremely dangerous and can easily become fatal. Simple precautions like having a designated driver, ordering a cab, and avoiding drinking alone out of the house can help prevent big disasters. Also, eat and drink water a lot. Moreover, if you find others attempting to drive after drinking, make sure to discourage them. Ensure they order a cab instead of driving themselves.

04 Not Wearing seatbelts

Seatbelts are there for the protection of the driver and the passengers in the vehicle. It is one of the most fundamental of driving lessons. Still, drivers find it a chore to wear their seatbelts or insist on their passengers wearing the belt for safety. Whether it is overconfidence or taking a casual approach, not wearing a seatbelt can have serious consequences.

Tips to Avoid: Make it a habit to wear seatbelts and insist on your passengers wearing them too. Ask your driving instructor to teach you how to wear your belt properly and other related information.

05 Fatigue

Driving while fatigued is also against the rules and should be avoided. When you’re tired, your body and brain need relaxation. Driving requires focus and alertness which is difficult when your body is not supporting you. Taking a casual approach and driving while tired can lead to accidents or serious injuries to the drivers as well as others.

Tips to Avoid: The best way is to get lots of rest and sleep properly the night before driving. If you feel fatigued when driving, try to avoid driving alone. Make sure to stay alert by drinking coffee and keeping the car’s environment interesting. Don’t get too comfortable in the seat, and take frequent breaks to keep drowsiness at bay.


When the youth adopts a change, it gains the potential to become a standard of the future. Today’s youth needs to be more aware of the fatal 5 and the consequences of causing an accident. They also need good driving instructors and driving schools like Onroad to teach them to avoid the fatal 5 and drive safely. Preventing accidents is just a matter of patience, vigilance, and following the rules. Avoiding fatal mistakes and following the principles of defensive driving diligently is a good start to driving responsibly. 

Back to Top