Guide to Returning Drivers (requirements, tips)

By Omid

After passing the written test and obtaining a Return Driver (RD) certificate and an RD-conditional license, you can book your practical driving test. The practical driving test assesses the driver's ability to handle a vehicle and confidently navigate roads. Upon passing the test, the driver may apply for a license to drive unsupervised. Depending on the type of license held at the time of application, the driver will receive either a provisional, probationary, or open license. If you already hold a provisional, probationary, or open license at the time of application, it will be reissued with the new class added. Now, according to the Queensland Transport Department, returning drivers are required to obtain a medical certificate if they have a medical condition that may affect their driving ability. For example, eye or vision problems, heart disease, dementia, stroke, seizures, or epilepsy. Your medical certificate must express that you are fit to drive.

Returning driver tips!

As a returning driver, you might feel anxious and scared to get back on the road again after a long break. It is important to take these necessary steps to help you ease back behind the wheel and regain your confidence.

  • Start with short trips to build confidence before tackling longer drives. It is often advisable for returning drivers to start with short trips to regain their confidence on the road. This can include driving around familiar neighborhoods, practicing parking in empty lots, or even just driving around the block a few times. As you become more comfortable and confident, you can gradually begin to tackle longer drives. It is important to take the time to rebuild a strong foundation of driving skills before attempting longer trips, as this can help to prevent accidents and increase overall safety on the road.

  • Practice defensive driving techniques, such as scanning the road ahead, maintaining a safe following distance, and anticipating the actions of other drivers.

  • Take breaks as needed to avoid driver fatigue. You might feel the need to get back on the road fast so you drive as much as you can, but this could put a strain on your alertness. But it is important to prioritize your safety while driving, and one way to do so is to take appropriate breaks to avoid driver fatigue. 

  • Keep your vehicle well-maintained, including regular oil changes, tire rotations, and brake inspections. Keeping your car in good driving condition will help reduce your worries when going for a practice drive. This way, you'll be able to focus solely on driving on the road. 

  • Be aware of any changes in traffic laws or road conditions since you last drove regularly. It is important to stay up-to-date with any changes in traffic laws or road conditions. This can be achieved by reading news articles related to transportation or signing up for alerts from your local department of transportation. In addition, it may be helpful to review the driver's manual and take a refresher course to ensure that you are fully prepared for the road. Taking a couple of driving lessons can greatly help you become more informed and confident when taking the wheel.

Getting back on the road can be intimidating, but taking the time to prepare and build confidence can help make the transition easier. Remember, safety should always be the top priority while driving.

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