Five things New Zealand drivers often get wrong

Kiwis - we have a reputation for being bad drivers. Dangerous, in fact. A menace to ourselves, others, and any animal or small child unfortunate enough to wander onto the road while we're drunk or distracted.

Newshub asked the AA for the five common errors we're getting wrong on the road. The questions won't shock you - but the answers might.

  • Roundabouts

Q: When travelling straight through a roundabout, what is the correct signalling procedure?

A: No signal on entry but left signal for exit from just after the centre line of the last exit before the exit you intend taking. All exits must show left signal.

  • School zone speeds

Q: What is the correct speed for travelling in a school zone when the school zone sign has flashing lights or there is a posted school zone sign?

A: 40 km/h is the speed for traveling in school zones with posted signs when the lights are flashing or during the posted times. Remember when passing a school bus with lights or a flashing sign you must slow down to 20 km/h.

  • Cycle lanes

Q: What is correct space to leave between your vehicle and a cyclist when overtaking?

A: Allow at least 1.5m between you at a cyclist. If the road is narrow and there is less than 1.5m you should wait for the road to widen before passing. Reminder you cannot stop, stand or park in a cycle lane.

  • Approaching an intersection

Q: What's the correct way to approach an intersection?

A: You must identify and enter the correct lane you need early. Crossing where there is a broken line, before it becomes a solid line. Where the solid line starts is considered too close to the intersection to change lanes safely with all the safety checks and signalling (for three seconds minimum) and therefore unsafe.

  • Merging

Q: When two lanes become one when the broken white line ends what are your obligations?

A: Merge like a zip. Mirror and blind spot check towards the other lane. Signalling when two lanes become one is discretional (based on a safety). Remember to there are a number of other merge situations including motorway on ramp and in this situation you must signal before merging onto the motorway.

What can you do?

AA Driving School general manager Roger Venn says the main reasons people get these wrong are drivers not keeping up to date with changes to the road code and not undertaking any professional driver training once they have got their licence.

Increased traffic, increased in-car distractions and a more complex road structure landscape are also to blame.

Mr Venn urges New Zealanders to take to re-read the road code and undergo regular refresher training.

"Take personal responsibility for you actions as a driver - treat it seriously, improve your skills - it could save your own or another person's life," he says.

"Take a simulated on road test to see how good you really are - could you pass the test today? What can you work on to improve?"