Driving safely

The Queensland Government strongly supports initiatives to promote safe and responsible vehicle use. Driving dangerously risks your own safety and the welfare of others.

As a driver of a QFleet vehicle, you represent the Queensland Government. You should set a good example and drive safely and courteously with consideration for other road users.

Ways to improve your driving performance and road safety include:

  • Drive at a safe speed: Speeding is a major contributing factor in serious and fatal crashes.
    • Do not drive faster than the speed limit.
    • Reduce your speed when road and weather conditions deteriorate, and while driving in heavy traffic.
    • If you see emergency services, incident response or a broken down vehicle at the roadside, move over and slow down to provide a safe space.
  • Avoid driving when tired: Fatigue and sleepiness increase the risk of incidents and affect driver performance and judgment.
    • Plan your journey.
    • Take a 15-minute break every 2 hours and avoid driving for long distances after a full day of work.
  • Wear a seatbelt: Drivers and passengers are around 9 times more likely to be killed in a road crash if they are not wearing a seatbelt. The driver of a vehicle is responsible for the proper restraint of all passengers.
  • Avoid distractions: Driver distraction and inattention are major causes of crashes.
    • A safe driver concentrates only on driving and stay alert when behind the wheel.
    • Resist the temptation to focus on technological and other distractions both inside and outside the vehicle such as mobile phone use, wearing headphones, adjusting the car stereo, eating while driving or attention-grabbing distractions external to the vehicle (e.g. roadside advertising signage or a roadside vehicle incident).
  • Maintain the vehicle: A well-maintained vehicle is safer and reduces whole-of-life operating costs.
    • Complete the vehicle maintenance requirements as per the vehicle owner's handbook.
    • Service the vehicle on time and make sure vehicle repairs are completed as soon as possible.
  • Being familiar with the vehicle: An unfamiliar vehicle may pose a safety risk.
    • Take time to familiarise yourself with the vehicle’s features prior to driving rather than during the journey.
    • Consult the vehicle owner's handbook or request vehicle induction training.
  • Park and reverse safely: Drivers should take care and look for obstacles when parking and reversing.
    • Before reversing out of a parking space, as you approach the vehicle, walk around it and check for obstacles.
    • While reversing, check the vehicle’s reversing cameras and listen to the vehicle’s audible warnings when reversing. If you have a passenger with you, ask the passenger to act as a 'spotter' to guide you during parking and reversing manoeuvres.
  • Maintain a safe following distance: Nose-to-tail crashes often occur as a result of driver distraction, or not allowing enough stopping distance between your vehicle and the vehicle in front.
  • Avoid road rage: Road rage is an increasing issue, particularly as roads become congested with more traffic.
    • Be aware of the influence of your emotions on your driving, be courteous to other drivers and accept drivers make mistakes.
    • Manage your emotions at all times while driving and avoid retaliation.
  • Health and wellbeing: Consider your health and wellbeing and determine if you are fit to drive as part of your journey planning. There are a range of factors that may impact upon your health and wellbeing to drive. These can include medication, sleep quality and tiredness, emotion and stress, and alcohol consumption. If you are unfit to drive, don’t drive.

You should avoid driving in adverse conditions if possible.

Observe all safety signs, e.g. 'Do Not Cross Flooded Roadway' and 'Impassable in the Wet'.

Keep your knowledge about the road and weather conditions up to date by viewing the QLDTraffic website or app, Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) website, or listening to a local radio station.

Rain, strong winds and fog make driving more difficult and dangerous, especially at night.

The risks associated with driving in bad weather conditions can be minimised by:

  • Postponing your trip on wet unsealed roads
  • In the event of very/extremely poor conditions, park the vehicle in a safe location and waiting until conditions improve before recommencing your journey
  • Driving at a speed appropriate for the conditions
  • Ensuring the windscreen is clean, and windscreen wipers are operational and in good condition
  • Using the air conditioner or demister to keep the windscreen clear
  • Ensuring all vehicle and trailer lights are working
  • Using low-beam headlights in fog
    • Using rear fog lights (if fitted) only in heavy fog or very hazardous weather conditions
  • Using hazard lights when travelling very slowly
  • Driving at reduced speeds where there is water over the road to reduce the risk of aquaplaning
  • Avoiding sudden or harsh braking or steering actions
  • Not attempting to overtake other vehicles (unless on a double carriageway).

Talk to your agency's WHS area about any concerns or suggestions about driver safety. If your employees require driver training, please see the list of preferred driver training service providers on the Queensland Contracts Directory GovNet webpage.

While the priority is the safety of the driver, occupants and others, the way a vehicle is driven can also have environmental impacts. The following safe driving behaviours and techniques have the added advantage of minimising vehicle emissions.

  • Drive smoothly, avoiding rapid acceleration and hard braking
  • Ease off the accelerator rather than braking, apply power gradually to cope with inclines, and adjust speed, gears and driving line for curves and corners
  • Read the road—be alert and attentive to anticipate and respond early to traffic and road conditions
  • Observe speed limits and speed advisory signs
  • Keep a safe space between vehicles, and drive to road and weather conditions
  • Use cruise control when appropriate
  • Follow a practical vehicle maintenance regime that includes:
    • On-time scheduled servicing and maintenance (performed by an approved provider)
    • Regular checks and basic maintenance, including tyre pressures (coordinated by the fleet/pool manager)
    • Pre-start checks (performed by the driver).

These behaviours have the additional benefits of prolonging tyre and engine life, and lowering whole-of-life cost.

Find out more about how to reduce the environmental impact of your vehicle/s in the QFleet Emissions Reduction Guide.

Prior to undertaking any driving for work, consider your health and wellbeing and determine whether you are fit to drive as part of your journey planning. Being deemed fit to drive, particularly if you have a permanent or long-term health condition, may require a medical assessment undertaken by a health professional and/or approval by your Human Resources area.

Even drivers without long term health or medical conditions need to constantly consider if they are fit to drive.

Various aspects of health and wellbeing can have an impact upon driving ability and may include:

  • Physical injury
  • Medications
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Quality of sleep
  • Cognitive health and wellbeing
  • Emotions, mood and stress
  • Fatigue and tiredness

If you are unfit to drive, don’t drive.