A teenager had his driver's licence for less than two weeks when he performed a u-turn in front of a truck, causing it to jackknife on a highway.
Samuel Cahill and the truck driver were not seriously injured in the crash which occurred on the Sunraysia Highway at Addington in May.
Cahill, 18, pleaded guilty to careless driving at the Ballarat Magistrates' Court on Thursday.
Police prosecutor Senior Constable Ben Jones said Cahill was travelling in a southerly direction in front of the truck when he pulled over onto the side of the road to perform a u-turn.
He said Cahill turned in front of the truck and quickly accelerated but the truck collided with his Hilux utility, causing it to spin 180 degrees and onto grass.
The truck ran off the road, jackknifed and came to a stop 20 metres from a ditch. The highway was closed for five hours while the truck was removed.
Cahill, of Ballarat, participated in a field interview with police where he told officers he did not mean to cause the crash and he thought he was giving way.
His lawyer said Cahill obtained his p-plate driver's licence on April 30, which was less than two weeks before the crash, and he did not have experienced driving skills.
She said the apprentice tradesman needed his licence to get to work and urged the court to consider a good-behaviour bond without a conviction.
Magistrate Ron Saines told Cahill, who appeared via a video link with his parents, the incident was a grave mistake rather than an act of criminality.
"It looks like you were within two metres of death. It's lucky the truck driver who jackknifed walked away as well," Mr Saines said.
"There's no explanation other than you failed to look properly.
"It was a straight, flat road. It was a serious mistake."
Cahill was convicted and placed on a 12-month good behaviour bond with the requirement he complete an advanced driver education program.
His driver's licence was suspended for one month to reduce the disturbances to his employment.
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