List of good driving habits

Here is a list of driving actions that form the basis of good driving habits.

Opinions differ on what's 'correct' when it comes to driving habits; this list conforms to what most professional driving instructors teach.

Preparing to drive

  • Adjust the seat for effective control and comfort.
  • Adjust all three mirrors for the best view.
  • Fit and adjust your seat belt and head restraint.
  • Check your passengers are safely seated.


  • Indicate for at least five seconds before you pull out from the kerb.
  • Indicate for at least three seconds before turning.
  • Indicate for at least two seconds before beginning to change lanes.
  • Indicate before you steer off roundabouts (wherever practical).
  • Look in your mirror before you indicate.
  • Look in your mirror before you put your foot on the brake.
  • Indicate before you brake.

Look around you

  • Slow down if you can't see what's happening five vehicles in front of you.
  • Slow down at intersections and look for other cars even if you have right of way.
  • Look into intersections regardless of having right of way.
  • Keep your eyes scanning the situation all around you.
  • Look over your shoulder (headcheck) before beginning to change lanes and in other situations where vehicles could be in your blind spot.

Don't bend the rules

  • Come to a complete stop (no rolling) at stop signs.
  • Ensure your maximum speed is always slightly under the speed limit.
  • Stop for green lights when traffic in front of you is not leaving the intersection.
  • Stop for amber lights unless it is not safe.

Be a careful driver

  • Stay at least three seconds travel time behind the car immediately in front of you.
  • Leave a space, when stopping behind a vehicle, to drive around it if you have to.
  • Change lanes as little as possible.
  • Slow down when approaching green traffic lights and check to make sure no one is running a red light.

Keys2drive is an Australian Government-funded program providing learner drivers and their parents/supervisors a free driving lesson with a Keys2drive accredited professional driving instructor