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In the driving seat

Section overview

An image containing two pictures. One of an engine check, the other of filling up with petrol.

This section offers students an opportunity to familiarise themselves with some key aspects of motor vehicles. It looks at safety features of cars, modifications to vehicles, and discusses the importance of journey planning.

Resources required

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Teacher information 

For a variety of reasons, many students will not have had an opportunity to familiarise themselves with features of motor vehicles that are essential for the driving task. Similarly, it will be the first opportunity that some students have to familiarise themselves with preventative maintenance tasks. Some students are also interested in modifying their vehicles. The Department of Transport and Main Roads has guidelines that can be followed to ensure a vehicle meets all applicable Queensland regulations and safety levels are maintained.

Activity 1

Students sit in the driver's seat of a vehicle and locate the following items using the 'Know Your Vehicle' checklist provided. Hint: A number of stations could be set up around the vehicle and students could rotate around each station.

Activity 2 

Students identify safety features of cars: what they are and what they mean. For example, ABS (Anti-lock Braking System), SRS (Supplementary Restraint Systems) airbag, side intrusion bars, seat belts, lighting systems and head rests.

Activity 3 

Students examine research and statistics associated with the road toll and compare statistics before and after the introduction of different safety features in cars. For example, they could look at the impact of air bags on the road toll and on severity of injury.

Activity 4 

Students identify modifications that may be made to vehicles, both legal and illegal. They investigate the process that needs to be undertaken to ensure modifications are legal. They discuss the following questions:

  • What are the dangers of illegal modifications to vehicles?
  • What reasons do people have for wanting to make modifications to vehicles?
  • What are the implications for insurance cover if you make modifications to your vehicle without notifying the insurance company?
  • What are some of the safety implications of legal modifications to vehicles? (for example, the severity of injury to pedestrians hit by cars with and without bull bars).

Activity 5 

Students undertake research on various topics. They use this to prepare and present a debate to the rest of the class. Topics could include:

  • Safer vehicles improve road safety
  • Cars with safety features should be cheaper to buy and insure than cars without
  • The young driver restrictions will increase road safety.

Activity 6

Students discuss all the things they should consider when planning a journey. They develop a step-by-step guide whereby they identify the questions they might ask themselves before taking a trip and the decisions they might have to make when planning a journey.

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Last updated
31 January 2018