The Christmas holidays are almost upon us and for a lucky few, already begun. With every year, a higher volume of travellers flood the roads to attend Christmas parties, end of year celebrations or heading away for a well deserved trip.
The odds of getting into a driving accident increase during periods when there are more cars on the road.
We’ve prepared some Christmas driving safety tips to make sure you have a safe and enjoyable Christmas holiday with your loved ones.
- Plan Ahead and Be Flexible: Before you commence your journey, take time to plan your trip. Plan which route you are going to take and identify the places you will be stopping along the way. It’s also a good idea to check out the RTA website which provides live traffic reports which are updated regularly.
- Drive to the Conditions: Be aware of road speed limits especially with dangerous weather conditions. Make sure you pay extra attention to the road and examine your surroundings and drive accordingly to your driving abilities.
- Be Aware of Fatigue: One of the major causes of fatalities on Australia roads is fatigue. For long trips, make sure you’re well rested and take regular breaks to avoid fatigue (15 minute rest break for every 2 hours of driving).
- Before you Travel: Check your vehicle including tyre tread, and pressure, lights, brakes, engine oil, coolant and power steering fluid. A car service is always recommended before commencing on long journeys.
- Check your Trailers and Caravans: If towing a trailer or caravan make sure you inspect the following; tyre condition and inflation including the spare, towbar & towing equipment is secure, all electrical connections are secure and the lights are working correctly, trailer brakes are in working order and rear view mirrors are adjusted correctly.
- Be Patient: With everyone out and about during the holidays, expect frustration on the road with slow walking pedestrians and busy roads. With the kids causing mayhem inside the vehicle and people outside causing road rage, make sure to keep calm and be patient.
- Buckle Up Safely: Seat belts save lives! Make sure that your children are in appropriate child restraints and ensure they are installed correctly. The same applies if you are travelling with pets!
- Remember, You are Sharing the Road: Roads during this time are bound to get busy with the addition of motorcycles, caravans, trailers and camper-vans. Be sure to keep a safe distance from vehicles in-front and only overtake when you are guaranteed safety (preferably using an overtaking lane). Don’t forget motorcycles have less protection when on the road if an accident is to occur, so be cautious when changing lanes.
The team from Automotive Hospital would like to wish everybody a safe and enjoyable break as well as a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!