It’s been an awful start to the year with NSW holiday road tolls doubling over the 2017 Christmas break and the national road fatality rate reaching 1,225 in December 2017*. If you are planning a road trip for the Easter long weekend, here are some tips on how you can stay safer on the road including how your Navman GPS or dash-cam can really help make your journey as safe as possible.
Stop and take a break every two hours
You may be tempted to get to your destination as soon as possible, but taking a break is vital. Drowsiness has been a factor in so many of these accidents so make regular stops, get some fresh air, have a drink or a snack or stretch your legs with a short walk so you are feeling alert and refreshed when you step back in your car. It’s also a good chance to check out a town or suburb you are unfamiliar with on the way. Your Navman GPS even reminds drivers to take a break every two hours and can provide suggestions on where you can stop for your rest. Also ensure you are well rested before heading on your drive so make sure you’ve had a good night sleep before-hand.
“More haste, less speed”
While shaving off some travelling time might seem attractive, it’s not only dangerous to speed you also risk earning yourself a very nasty speeding fine over the long weekend and with double demerit points in place in some states such as NSW and WA - so it doesn’t take much to lose your license altogether. Pay attention to your speed, this is why it’s good to have a sat-nav with spoken safety alerts such including speed alerts that work by using a GPS signal to ping between the GPS and your location, often making it more accurate than your car speedometer.
Keep your hands off the phone
Under no circumstances should you play with your phone while driving. Even if that means you have to hide it out of sight and reach so you aren’t tempted to grab it. If you have to use it to take calls, make sure it’s in a cradle. However remember it’s illegal for P-plate drivers in New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and Queensland to use their mobile phone in any way when driving, including hands-free and Bluetooth.
Keep the kids occupied so they aren’t a distraction
The last thing you want is a fight breaking up in the back seat as this could be a huge distraction for the driver. Consider packing a little road trip activity bags for kids with snacks, activity books, crayons, joke books, card games, perhaps a tablet or portable DVD player so they can watch their favourite shows or educational videos.
Be prepared for any hiccups
Make sure you carry plenty of water in the car, spare food, snacks and of course a first aid kit. The Navman Drive Duo SUV and MY Escape provide you with longitude and latitude co-ordinates in the event of a breakdown so when you reach rescue services, you can let them know your exact location.
Check your car before you head off
Make sure you car is road-worthy, this means checking your tyre pressure and ensuring your tyres are in good condition. Ensure your car has enough oil, as well as water in the radiator and windscreen wiper reserve and make sure your wipers are working well. You can even have a qualified mechanic take a quick look at your car to be extra safe. Also it’s always a good idea to carry a spare tyre.
Take a dash-cam
A dash-cam can be a life-saver if the unthinkable happens and you are involved in a collision. It can capture the critical moments before an accident occurs, to help protect you from fraudulent accident claims, road rage incidents and will also provide proof of who was at fault. Just make sure you have a dash-cam with a glass lens rather than a plastic lens for superior quality footage, and that it records clear quality footage in bad weather and bright lighting. There are also Navman dash-cam models available with ADAS safety features such as lane departure alert as well as a front collision alert that warns you if you are driving too close to the car in front, while a front departure warning will also warn if the car in front has moved off without you noticing.
Stay safe and enjoy your long weekend drives!
*Australian Government Road Safety Statistics https://bitre.gov.au/statistics/safety/