Keep Safe on the Road This Christmas

The most important thing you can do this Christmas is to enjoy time with family and friends. If you’re driving home for Christmas, keep safe on the roads by following these tips.

Safety starts with your car

Ensuring your safety on the road this Christmas should start with your car. If you plan on driving over a long distance, ideally it would be a good idea to get your car serviced in the months or weeks leading up to your trip.

Otherwise, there are a few things you should check to make sure you don’t end up on the side of the road and miss out on that all important Christmas dinner!

Keep Safe on the Road This Christmas
Plan extra time into your journey

If you’re heading home for the holidays, or plan on you and the kids spending Christmas with the Grandparents, then chances are, you’ll be sharing the road with many other families who are doing the same.

The traffic level can be unpredictable at this time, so better to be cautious and allow for extra time, especially if you’re travelling on the day or just before Christmas Day. There may be more caravans and trailers towing boats and jet skis on the road, which can cause minor delays and require extra caution from all drivers.

So allow an extra amount of time for your journey, even if you’ve done it before. Better to arrive safe and calm than rush and put your family or anyone else in danger!

Check the weather and conditions

Watch out for unpredictable weather and plan accordingly. Northern Australia can experience cyclones and flooding, and southern Australia has unfortunately played victim to some large bush fires.

Keep abreast of the news and listen to local radio on your journey to keep up-to-date on any changes to the conditions ahead of you.

Be aware of fatigue

The lead up to Christmas and the holiday period can be a very busy time of year. Christmas Day itself can be exhausting, with all the present opening, abundance of food and family times!

The weather is usually warm which is great for outdoor activities, but it can also make you a little weary at the end of the day. Get a good night’s sleep before you head off and try not to travel for more than a total of 8 hours, taking breaks frequently along the way.

Don’t let yourself drive if you’re feeling very tired, as fatigue can cause you to lose concentration on the road. According to the Transport Accident Commission, fatigue is suspected to be the primary cause of more than 20% of road fatalities. If you are on the road and you start to yawn, your eyes feel heavy or your concentration is waning, pull over and take a 15 minute power nap.

Prepare for different driving conditions

At Christmas time, city folk can end up in the country, and country folk might end up touring the city. Driving conditions can feel very different if you’re not used to it.

If you plan on heading into the country, be mindful of the following:

If you’re heading to the city from the country, road conditions to watch out for are:

Watch your alcohol intake

We’ve all heard the statistics and campaigns around drink driving in this country. Whilst the legal limit of alcohol in your system on the road is 0.05, your best bet is to avoid drinking alcohol all together if you plan on driving the family around at Christmas time.

Alcohol impairs your judgement, gives you slower reaction times, causes fatigue and if over the limit, you may end up with fines and loss of your license, or worse – causing serious injury to you, your family and others on the road.

Keep the kids busy

Keep the kids occupied by bringing along plenty of activities they can do in the back seat to let you concentrate on driving.

You could also play games, an audio book, or strap a tablet to the back of the seat to let them watch their favourite cartoons.

Remember to plan for frequent toilet stops which will also give you a chance to stretch your legs and get some fresh air.