5 Top Tips To Stay Safe On The Roads This Festive Season
With the festive season upon us, many Australians will be taking to the roads to visit family members, go on holiday or celebrate with friends. And it’s a tragic fact that every year people die on the roads at this time of the year for reasons that are entirely preventable.
How can you navigate your way happily and safely through the holiday season? Fleetcare,the leading fleet management company, offers the following advice:
1. Take driver fatigue seriously
Around a quarter of all fatal crashes on our roads are caused by fatigue. Between 10 pm and dawn the chances of having a fatal car crash are four times more likely and almost 30% of fatigue-related deaths occur during the holidays. It has been shown that a driver who has been awake for 17 – 19 hours has a reaction time similar to that of someone with a blood alcohol reading of 0.05. So make sure you have plenty of sleep, especially when making a long-haul trip or travelling at night. Schedule regular rest stops when driving long distances.
2. Choose your skipper before you start drinking
Despite all the government awareness about the dangers of drink-driving, people still do it. You don’t have to feel drunk for alcohol to degrade your response time, concentration, decision-making skills and balance. 15% of fatal road accidents involve alcohol. If you’re going out to celebrate, pick your skipper before you start drinking.
3. Don’t be one of the 4,000 Australians injured or killed by speeding
More than 4,100 of us are injured or killed in speeding-related incidents each year. Here are a few simple ways you can prevent speeding this festive season:
Monitor your speed especially when slowing down from a high speed.
Be aware of road signs or warnings especially when approaching curves or corners.
Always stay within the speed limit posted.
Drive slower than the speed limit if weather, traffic or road conditions change.
When travelling at high speeds, increase the distance between your car and the vehicle ahead of you so that you can stop safely and react quickly.
4. Be smart about routes and timing
Think about conditions on the route you are planning to take. Some things can be predicted, like traffic congestion during rush hours. But also think about road closures, local weather conditions where you are travelling and, if you are driving in rural areas, being aware of wildlife and livestock. There are some useful state traffic and travel websites which are worth a quick check before heading off.
5. Do basic checks before long-distance journeys
In the scramble to finish work, pack clothes and take care of domestic tasks, it’s easy to overlook a few basic checks which could save you a lot of grief. Before travelling, make sure your vehicle has been serviced recently, has a spare tyre, tools and extra water. If you’re heading to rural areas, take plenty of fuel, food and drink. If you have child restraints, booster seats or child safety harnesses, make sure they’re properly fitted. And when travelling with pets, ensure that they’re kept safe and comfortable too – for everyone’s benefit.
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