When you think of the classic Aussie road trip, you probably imagine winding coastal strips, dusty outback stretches, exhilarating bushwalks, and snags on the barbie at the end of the day. What could be better? Here at Caravanning Australia, we love a good road trip; but we also love a safe road trip. That’s why we’re going back to basics with our guide to staying safe on the road.
A lot of the key safety practices for a road trip happen before you even hit the asphalt. First thing on the to-do list is an overall maintenance check of your vehicle and tyres, as well as your van if you have one. So, be sure to book into your local mechanic ahead of time.
The day before you leave, be sure to do your own check of the vehicle, too, to ensure that everything is in tiptop shape! In this final once-over, check things like:
• tyre pressure and tread
• wiper blades and fluid
• oil levels
• radiator coolant
• any warning lights on the dashboard.
Another thing that you can do before you leave is ensure that your insurance and roadside assistance are all up to date and appropriate for your journey. Fingers crossed you don’t have to use them, but this is one thing you don’t want to skip over. Otherwise, you may find yourself in the middle of the desert with no working car and no help on the way.
Also ensure that you have safety in mind when packing for your trip. Be sure to include things like a first-aid kit, a toolkit for your car, torches (with backup batteries), a snake bite kit and jumper cables so you’re ready for whatever Australia throws at you.
Before you hit the road each day, check the local weather forecast and any weather warnings. This is especially important during bushfire season or wet season in certain states. Download the emergency app for whatever state you are travelling in and enable alerts. This way, you’ll be the first to know if there is a bushfire, flash flooding or any other type of emergency in your area. It’s also important to plan your day’s drive wisely and avoid driving at night. Night-time driving introduces a range of new hazards, including increased wildlife, poor visibility, increased drowsiness and more unpredictable drivers on the road.
For more road safety tips, read the Spring 2022 edition of Caravanning Australia.