P-plater crash avoidance

Below are some practical 'tactics' to reduce a P-plater's risk of crashing.

Some of the tactics place a big responsibility on you, but it’s worth the effort when you consider the consequences of not accepting the task.


Tactic for Learner Driver What you both can do
Stay on L's for as long as possible. Delay getting P's Negotiate a reward for staying on L's; continue to be a 'taxi'; help to work out transport options; ask friends or family to help out with driving practice.
Keep focused on the target - six months zero harm Negotiate rewards for making safe progress towards six months on P plates with zero harm, or consequences for not making safe progress.
Drive supervised even on P's Drive in the P plate driver's car; continue to invite them to drive you in your car.
Get real about P readiness Ask a Keys2drive accredited driving instructor for a P plate ready assessment. If you want to have a go at making an assessment together with your learner driver, use the P plate ready indicator
Stay within experience/td> Help provide your learner wide experience on L's. Encourage them to drive within the range of L experiences and then gradually widen P experience.
Drive with room for error Encourage your learner to:
  • follow at least three seconds from the car immediately in front
  • ease up on the accelerator if any of the five cars in front slow
  • put their foot over the brake if ever in doubt
  • be very cautious in right turn situations (a common P plate driver crash)
Keep thinking like a learner when on P's Continue to encourage deep experience – your P plater will benefit from thinking like a learner driver and begin to notice smaller and smaller mistakes.
Drive in a safer car Your learner should buy a car with the highest ANCAP star rating they can afford. When the risk to the P plate driver could be higher, e.g. driving at night, let them borrow your car if it's a safer one.
Drive to use less fuel Help your learner learn how to drive to use less fuel. Generally it's safer because you have to think further ahead and drive more smoothly.
Manage special P plate driver risks Some situations are identified as particularly risky for P platers. Advise these management tactics:
  • minimise driving at night, particularly late on Friday and Saturday
  • limit passengers
  • learn not to use a mobile
  • avoid driving during normal sleep times

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