Co-operative driving may be defined as the practice while driving of anticipating the behaviours of other road users while respecting and sharing the road in a safe and considerate manner. It is about gathering information from what you can see and making decisions based on that information, while following the rules of the road.
The actions of a co-operative driver include the following:
- Moving over or slowing down to facilitate movement of another vehicle.
- Providing a cyclist with a full lane or at least one metre between your vehicle and the cyclist.
- Using effective space management so you are fully aware of your vehicle’s surroundings, including your blind spots.
- Knowing where other road users are in relation to your vehicle.
- Allowing other drivers to merge into traffic by adjusting your speed.
- Adjusting your driving when hazardous road conditions prevail i.e., providing more space and slowing down for the road conditions.
- Understanding who you intend to communicate with, not signalling too early or too late to mislead other road users.
Some benefits of co-operative driving are less wear and tear on vehicles, more effective traffic flow, being courteous to other drivers, reduced incidents of road rage, all contributing to lower insurance rates.