How to BRAKE effectively



Braking is a common task of driving a car. A driver uses the brake to slow down, control speed or to avoid collision. Braking is a task that can be exceled with a lot of hard work on learning and experience. The more you drive, the more stable control you will have. 


Sudden braking is a common problem amongst learner driver. It is a cause of sudden surprise on road as people, animal, cars or any road work or hazard on the road.


If you are braking too hard, there is an issue with you to identify and to react to hazards on the roads.

Look ahead and Plan

It is required that you continuously monitor the road ahead and at the rear. If you are not looking on the road, so does your brain too. This will lead to a potential hazard and causing you to break hard. On a road, you get less than a SECOND time to think and react. So maintain safe gap and prepare for braking if vehicle Infront of you flashes red lights.


If you are not able to avoid a sudden hazard quickly and safely, you are driving too fast. The higher the speed, the higher observation you need on road.


When you are approaching a traffic light which is green, maintain speed to go through but be prepared to stop in case the lights change before you go through or you are not in a POINT OF NO RETURN.

My Brakes are not responsive

Having a responsive brake is an important factor of driving. Not everybody has access to a brand-new car when they get a license. You may start to drive with your Grand Parents car or your second hand old car. Those old cars may have done so much for the age and are not in pristine condition for engine and accelerator or brakes. 

In this case, it’s a great way to start gently braking early before any hazard or situation on road.

If your vehicle has non responsive brakes or they are making noise, get them checked with mechanic and replace the break shoes or rotor as required.


Maintaining a safe gap on the road is very important to drive.


  • 2 second following distance is ideal to follow a vehicle on a low speed (under 60km/h)

  • 4 seconds following distance is ideal for a higher speed (over 70km/h)

  • When in a slow moving traffic, you should see front vehicle’s tyres and bit of road at your wind shield edge.

  • When following a large vehicle, be very sure to follow it where you can see their mirror, if YOU CAN'T SEE THEIR MIRROS, THEY CAN'T SEE YOU.

  • When crossing a stationary bus at bus stop, keep a lookout on the signals, if the bus is flashing hazard lights, it is okay to take over. If the bus is indicating right signal, make sure to stop your vehicle and give way to the bus. It is a Road Rule #77. Penalties apply to disobey the rule. Visit VicRoads video BUSES 

  • Don't tailgate a vehicle in front of you, this will lead to a sudden hard break or result in crash.

Keep your EYES on a SCAN mode

Keep a continuous look out ahead of the car is not a responsible driving. Always keep scanning the road ahead, at the rear and on the side. There is a simple technique for scanning the road around you effectively. Let's number it up.

  • 1 = Rear view mirror

  • 2= Speedometer

  • 3= Look ahead

  • 4= Check Right side mirror

  • 5= Check Left side mirror

Follow the 1,2,3 technique when driving in the streets.

Follow the 1,2,3,4 technique when driving on a 2 lane each way road. (Check Right mirror if you are in left lane or vice versa)

Follow the 1,2,3,4,5 technique when driving on a 3 lane each way road. (Check Left and Right mirror if you are in Middle lane)

Slow down gradually


Scanning road ahead will help you to prepare for a intersection or roundabout coming ahead. They are marked with Yellow warning signs well before they are on the road. To swiftly come to a stop or slow down without braking harsh.

  • Foot off the Accelerator - no acceleration takes away power from engine.

  • Push brake pedal gently

  • Push brake pedal little hard and your car will lose more speed

  • Maintain the same pressure or push the pedal little firm as you approach the vehicle in front or an intersection or roundabout to completely stop if you need to.


Identify the Hazards
Hazards are not always difficult to deal with if you are scanning the road and act quick and effectively to be able to safe.
There are different kind of hazards on the roads.
  • Potential Hazard
    • Potential hazards are those which could happen. For an example, you see a Kangaroo running on a footpath, you are approaching the road in the same direction the Kangaroo is running on the footpath. As a driver, if you have scanned this, you would get your foot off the accelerator and lower your speed. You would be having a foot over the brake pedal and eyes on the Kangaroo until you pass the road and Kangaroo is far behind your car. In this instance, the hazard could have happened if the Kangaroo entered the road and you were not prepared with actions as you were not scanning the road.
  • Developing Hazard
    • Developing hazards are those which are happening around you. For an example, you are driving on a road where there are cars parked on your left. You spot a car with tyres pointing to right, no indicators on and may merge on the road. As a driver scanning the road, you would get your foot off the accelerator and push the break gently to slow down in case the car pulls over without indicating and making sure you are present there. If the car did not pull over to merge on the road, you have done the right thing to avoid a crash and make your way safely.
  • Present Hazard
    • Present hazards are easy to identify as you drive. There are many hazards present on the road daily. It's very easy to miss them if you are not scanning the road ahead. Always look 200 meters ahead of your car when driving to identify the hazard and take evasive action to be safe. Some of the hazards you see daily are.
      • Dead animals
      • Rubbish bags
      • Fallen tree branches
      • Oil on the road
      • Water on the road after heavy rain
      • Debris from construction vehicle
      • Crashed vehicles and its occupants
      • Pedestrian crossing road without marked crossing
      • Cyclist not driving in a Bicycle lane but road
  • How to enter in Car

  • How to adjust Seat

  • How to adjust  Mirror

  • How to adjust Steering

  • Rear View Mirror

  • Hazard Lights

  • Head Lights & Indicator 

  • Washer & Wiper

  • Demisters

  • Hand Brake

  • Head Rest

  • Seat Belt

  • Front FOG light

  • Rear FOG light

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