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Safety tips for beginner four-wheel drivers

Safety tips for beginner four-wheel drivers

When travelling through the harsh Australian countryside, it’s vital to be prepared with not only the right equipment, but also the right knowledge. Here are just a few basic tips to keep you out of trouble in Australia’s far-flung recesses.

First of all, when thinking about your next adventure, always think ahead, ask questions, check government websites and prepare for all outcomes specific to the area you’re visiting. You should accumulate an extensive checklist for items to carry on board, and checks to carry out pre-departure. It’s also a good idea to make sure that more than one person performs these checks, to make sure that nothing is missed in the last-minute excitement of embarking on a new adventure.

Carry extensive maps, an emergency kit with non-perishable food, a first-aid kit, jumper leads and drinking water, and be sure to pack a spare fuel can and as many spare tyres as you can carry. In alpine areas, pack tyre chains and top up your coolant (which doubles as anti-freeze) to avoid turning your radiator into an ice block when parking at high altitudes.

Before setting out, always ring ahead or check the appropriate websites to ensure that conditions are suitable for travel – permit information can generally be obtained through a specific national park’s website, or whatever organisation manages the land (special permits are often required when passing through Indigenous locales). VKS.737 Radio Network is a great source of information on road closures throughout Australia, and their website also has links to many useful sites. While you’re on the road, be sure to test your communications equipment, as it goes without saying that this will be vital in an emergency when mobile phones won’t work!

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