Safe travelling over the Christmas holidays
Christmas holidays have snuck up early on us this year. It seems to come around quicker each and every year.
Many families are packing up the car, caravan and campers and hitting the road over the holidays to enjoy quiet time with loved ones. Taking that time out to appreciate each other and spend valuable time camping with nature.
Before hitting the road
One of the most important things to write on the checklist prior to leaving home is to check over your vehicle and any other vehicles that you are towing while on holidays.
A holiday can become quiet expensive if you are towed on the way to or from your holiday destination and hit with an unexpected mechanical bill.
The best way to avoid the Christmas surprise no one wants is to organize an appointment with your mechanic to check over the vehicle at least 2 weeks before you plan to travel. This allows plenty of time to have any repairs completed if parts need to be ordered in and gives you more time to save money if the repair is unexpected.
Don’t forget to bring your camper/caravan with you to the mechanical workshop to check that all the wheel bearings and tyres are secure. Towing can be hazardous enough in holiday traffic, give yourself peace of mind that you and your family are safe.
When towing caravans, always check that your lights are working properly before heading out on your journey. It is recommended to check them at all stops in case there is fault in the connectors/ taillight of indicators bulbs have blown.
Packing spare bulbs and fuses is a great idea especially for trailers/campers/caravans.
It is harder to see vehicles behind you when towing and if your indicators or brake lights are not working on your caravan/camper trailer it may cause accidents behind you.
There are extended mirrors available to fit to most makes and models of cars to allow the driver plenty of vision of road users along side and behind the trailer being towed behind.
Allow plenty of time to arrive to your destination.
Everyone is tired from working all throughout the year and they all want to make the most of the time that they have off. If you have not rested and don’t feel up to driving, (sick, tired) then wait until the next day to travel. Even if you miss out of the first night’s accommodation that you have prepaid. It is better to turn up late than not arrive at all.
Be kind to each other on road.
The last couple of months have shown that there are a lot of impatient and at times violent drivers on the road. If another driver on the road does cut you off or is driving painfully slow be patient. The last thing that anyone wants is to be put you and your family in harms way. Sometimes showing someone a bit of forgiveness or letting them in when there is a lot of traffic, not only makes someone else day a little easier, you feel awesome doing it.
Make sure that all occupants of the vehicle are wearing their seatbelts at all times.
In 2014 there were 36 fatalities on Queensland Roads from vehicle occupants not wearing seatbelts. Have your mechanic complete a safety check that all seatbelts are operational and they are free from frays and tears. This 5-minute check can potentially save an occupants life but the condition of the seatbelt means nothing if the passenger is not wearing it.
We all are aware the dangers that are increased on driving on the roads at Christmas.
Hurry up, we need to get to our holiday destination as quickly as possible before all the best spots are taken. In 2014, according to Queensland Transport and Main Roads 65 fatalities of drivers and riders were caused by speed.
Christmas parties fill up the calendars in December and there is certainly nothing wrong with celebrating the end of the year with colleagues, family and friends. If you are going to drink, don’t risk it. Organise a designated driver prior to arriving, stay at the location of the party overnight or call a taxi to take you home.
Be aware of drivers on the road that are displaying unusual behavior. (Swerving, speeding or driving exceptionally slow) They may be under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Keep a distance, change direction and if safe to do so, contact the police with their registration number and location before they harm themselves or even worse, someone else.
In 2014, 88 drug or alcohol related fatalities were recorded on Queensland Roads. This is one of the main causes of fatal accidents.
When comparing data from year to year, Queensland Roads are thankfully seeing a decrease in fatalities. This is coming from driver awareness campaigns and road users practicing patience and utilizing other means of Transport when intoxicated.
Let’s make sure that every one on the road reaches their destinations safely and enjoy the time with their families.