The holidays should be a break away from work and stress; a time to relax with family and friends. Unfortunately, many of us have had our lives affected by road accidents at this time of the year.
The reason all the Government bodies and motor websites are advising road safety, is because the statistics prove that accidents are always increased around the holidays. You only have to turn on the TV or radio to hear warnings from police and other community bodies in the lead-up to the holidays to know that it is a dangerous time on our roads.
It’s no wonder, we’re rushing around, shopping for food and presents – which we’ve left to the last minute again – we’re catching up with old friends, partying with work colleagues, we’re often too busy concentrating on enjoying this time of the year to be safe. Many of us might be travelling long distances to stay with family or friends. With more people on the roads and most maybe being a bit careless, the need to be cautious on the roads is of paramount importance.
Although we are a an Accident Repair Group, we don’t want you or any of your loved ones to become just another statistic this year. We want you to make it home this season.
So when you’re driving this season, please me mindful of our road safety tips:
Road Safety #1 Check Your Car
Consider having your car serviced before you head off on a journey. You don’t want to be halfway there and have your car break down. Make sure the wipers, headlights, air-conditioning are all working. Check all fluids: water, brake, radiator, and battery. Check that the tyres, including the spare, are roadworthy. Ensure the jack and tools are stowed in an easily accessible if they are needed. If you are travelling with any children under seven yours, make sure you have a properly installed child restraint. If you are concerned about any of your car features, do not hesitate to contact our Niche services, even if it is just for a consult.
It’s better to ensure your car’s safe before you head off, so you aren’t stuck by the road in the middle of nowhere on Christmas Eve. Especially if you aren’t all that sure about what actually goes on in your engine….
Road Safety #2 Don’t Drink and Drive
An oldie, but a goodie.
The legal Blood Alcohol Content for full licence holders in Australia is 0.05 g. Remember that a standard drink is different according to the specific drink. So while you may only have had one standard glass of wine, you are actually over the legal driving limit because of the increased alcohol content. Other factors also go into this: weight, height, muscle mass, gender, fatigue, health, whether you’ve eaten anything recently etc.
According to the RTA: “Trying to calculate your BAC is impossible. Your BAC begins to rise as soon as you start drinking and can continue to increase for up to two hours after you have stopped drinking. Counting standard drinks to guess your BAC is difficult and often inaccurate because:
- Alcohol concentrations vary between drinks, such as light beer (2.5%), full strength beer (5%), wine (14%) and spirits (40% or higher)
- Beer may be served in schooners, middies and schmiddies. Wine glasses vary in size from 100 ml to 280 ml or more
- Drinks are often ‘topped up’ so it’s impossible to know how many standard drinks you’ve had
- Drinks come in non-standard sizes – many pre-mixed drinks sold in bottles or cans may contain more than one standard drink and 800 ml bottles may contain three standard drinks”
If maths isn’t your best subject when you’re sober, don’t try to add things up while drunk. Grab an Uber, a taxi or a designated driving friend.
Road Safety #3 Plan Ahead
If you are travelling a long distance this year, be sure to plan ahead.
Check for road works or updates, like accidents or traffic, which may be blocking your usual routes. Plus, if you familiarize yourself with the route before you set off, you may be able to find an alternative route instead of being stuck in traffic for hours.
Adverse weather conditions can also affect your journey. So, check for weather reports while you’re at it!
Take note of service stations, rest stops, or food outlets where you can break your journey, grab a coffee or a snack to keep your energy up to prevent fatigue setting in. If you are travelling with another driver, take turns so you won’t fall asleep at the wheel.
If you are travelling with young passengers – like your children for instance – and the journey is going to be a long one, consider checking out any local attractions to keep them entertained.
Road Safety #4 Watch Out For Wildlife
We have some of the world’s more incredible creatures in this country. However, the little buggers can really mess up your car if you’re not careful. We’ve heard stories this year of koala’s accidentally hitching rides, and kangaroos having boxing matches in the middle of the road. As amusing and entertaining as we may have found these stories, damage to vehicles and to the animals is a very real danger while driving on our country roads, especially around dawn or dusk, as the low light makes them harder to see.
Many of us set off early in the morning looking to get to our holiday destinations and start the fun. Some can’t wait to get started and leave after breaking up at work and face the hazards of driving through the evening. We need to be extra vigilant at these times, kangaroos can appear in our path with little warning, and we need to be prepared if they do. Hitting a kangaroo or other animal can cause major damage to our cars and injuries, swerving to miss them can result in even more carnage.
They may look cute and cuddly, but they can seriously damage your car and then hop off unscathed.