'Get off my tail': Coast drivers follow too close
DRIVING instructor Phillip Ryan sees all kinds of bad habits when teaching learners how to safely negotiate the Sunshine Coast road network.
However, a lot of the dodgy driving doesn't come from his pupils, but other motorists supposedly qualified to take to the streets unsupervised.
The scariest problem he encounters in the 10 to 12 hours a day he spends in a car is tailgating.
"Being a driving instructor, you are kind of more alert when you have a student in with you," Mr Ryan said.
Is tailgating a problem on Sunshine Coast road?
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He said three seconds should pass after a car in front passed a static point before the next car went past the same point.
Mr Ryan said it was a more defensive approach than the Queensland Government's suggested time of at least two seconds.
He said to add extra time in wet weather, night conditions and if the driver was in a heavy vehicle to have enough time to react and pull up.
"You see so many people sitting so close that they can't stop.
"It doesn't get you there any quicker."
Mr Ryan said drivers tended to dangerous things to get in front of learner vehicles.
They ranged from riding up onto median strips to using slips lanes as overtaking lanes.
"People should have a little bit of understanding."
Older drivers tended to exhibit bad habits, particularly when it came to roundabouts.
"Every time on every roundabout, you should indicate left (to exit)."
His basic explanation was not to use the right indicator unless the exit you wanted to take was to your right as you entered the roundabout.
He said initiatives such as the Rotary Youth Driver Awareness (RYDA) and Keys 2 Drive programs were working to improve attitudes and skills of young drivers.
"I think these programs are having a great effect."
Mr Ryan suggested refresher courses for all drivers every five years would be a good way to ensure they hadn't forgotten the road rules.
"You get your ticket at 17- you don't have to go (to be tested) for it again until you are 70.
"It is amazing there is no upskilling."