As a rider, you'll constantly face hazards on the road. A hazard is any object or situation that could be dangerous.

Hazards include:

  • intersections – including driveways
  • curves or bends in the road
  • pedestrian crossings
  • the position or movement of other road users, such as other vehicles, cyclists or pedestrians
  • changes in weather and road conditions.

To deal with hazards safely, you should get into the habit of using the hazard action plan and system of vehicle control covered in this section.

The hazard action plan

When you’re riding, you should always:

  • watch out for potential hazards that could affect you
  • predict how the hazard might develop and endanger your safety
  • decide what action to take to clear the hazard
  • act on your decision by using the system of vehicle control.

For example, if children are playing near the kerb, they may run out after a ball or after each other. Using the system of vehicle control, choose a course as far away from the children as possible while still keeping on your side of the road, check the mirror, uses the brakes and slow down.

The system of vehicle control

This is a safe and simple method of riding to help you deal with hazards safely. It makes sure you're always positioned in the right place on the road, travelling at the right speed, and in the right gear.

Use this system when you approach any type of hazard.

  • Course: choose a safe and legal path.
  • Mirrors: check your mirrors frequently to see the position of all other traffic around you.
  • Signal: always signal if you intend to change your position on the road.
  • Brakes: use the brakes to reduce your speed.
  • Gears: select the correct gear for the speed you've chosen.
  • Accelerate: accelerate safely to leave the hazard.