How to be Road Safe During the Festive Season
During the festive season, you must understand the holiday road accident risks. On average, there are more than 1,100 traffic accidents in Australia annually; sadly, there are more than 1,000 fatalities. A quarter of people admitted to hospital after a collision had a high threat to life. So, being involved in a car crash can have severe consequences.
While this might seem distressing data, the good news is you can prevent car accidents and injuries. Following the road rules and basic safety behaviours means you can arrive undamaged at your family gathering. The three essential practices are:
- Fasten your seatbelt
- Drive at a safe speed
- Driver sober
These basic actions can keep you and your loved ones safe during the holidays and festive seasons. Sounds simple, right? Please check out our guide to learn more about avoiding expensive and dangerous car accidents, traffic collisions and personal injury claims.
Holiday Safety Tips for Every Motorist
1) Drive Sober
You have heard it many times, but don’t drive when you have compromised behaviour due to alcohol and/or drugs. Any impairment exponentially increases your risk of harm. In Australia, about a quarter of all road fatalities are due to drunk driving or drug abuse. If you have been drinking or using substances, get a taxi, ride share or a lift with someone sober. You could save yourself and others from having the worst festive season of their life.
2) Stay Focused
Using your mobile phone for texts, emails, calls or social media is a high accident risk. You take your attention away from the road for a minimum of 5 seconds when you send a text. Did you know you can travel the distance of a football field in 5 seconds at 80klm per hour? Imagine what could happen if you were blindfolded for that period. Is your text message so urgent you are willing to risk your health, safety and life?
3) Drive for the Weather Conditions
Are you driving a long distance to reach your holiday destination? Then check the weather conditions before you leave. Australia typically has hot, sunny days during Summer, but sometimes we also get fierce storms with pelting rain and hail. Whatever the weather, match your road behaviour and speed to the prevailing circumstances.
Road Safety Tips to Keep Your Children Safe
Every year, children are injured or perish in motor vehicle accidents, which is particularly distressing during holidays and the festive season. Keep your children safe, secure and injury free.
1) Use Age Appropriate Seats
Use seats and restraints that are age appropriate. Ensure that your boosters, car seats and seat belts match the age of your children. Doing this can reduce the risk of death or harm by up to 80 per cent.
2) Reduce Excess Clothing
Remove bulky clothes before using a seat harness. Having excessive clothing under a harness reduces seat restraint safety. A loose seat belt can contribute to injury or ejection during a car crash. Instead, reduce the amount of clothing, secure the restraint and place a blanket or similar on top.
3) Be the Example
Remember, your children will follow your lead, so ensure you set the example for desired behaviour.
Holiday Driving Tips for Teenagers
Do you have a young driver in your family? Be aware they have a high risk for traffic accidents, injury and fatal car accidents.
1) Top Accident Risks
The top reasons for teenage injury in car accidents are lack of driving experience, having other young people in the car, nighttime road usage, insufficient attention and not wearing a seat belt.
2) Reinforce the Road Rules
It may be challenging, given the short attention span of some young people, but awareness is the best form of protection. Discuss the road rules with your teenagers and ask for their agreement. Failure to comply should have consequences. You might save their life.
3) Help them Learn
Give your teenager the gift of your time. During the holiday season, you will likely have more time together, and there may be less traffic at your destination. This is a great time to do supervised driving, where you can pass on some valuable experience.
4) Monitor their Behaviour
Encourage (and try to monitor) the seat belt usage of your teenage motorist. Consider installing a dashcam or other device and routinely check their road behaviour.
Holiday Road Safety Tips for Older Australians
Older drivers generally enjoy maintaining their freedom and independence, especially during the holiday season. But as you age, your risk of traffic accident injury and death escalates. You can, however, take steps to lower your risk.
1) Check Your Medications
Be sure your medication is not impairing your judgement. Ask your doctor or chemist for advice on drug safety and interactions so your capacity to drive safely is not compromised.
2) Check Your Vision
Have an annual vision check with an optometrist or eye doctor and update your glasses or lenses if required.
3) Plan Your Trip
Plan how you will drive to your holiday destination using a mapping tool. Look for the safest and least congested route. Allow plenty of time to arrive at your vacation spot.
4) Safety at Night
When driving at night, select routes with sufficient lighting. Negotiating small, narrow roads in the dark (particularly in regional areas) can be high risk, especially in bad weather.
What to do When the Unexpected Happens
You can follow all the road rules and safety behaviours and still have a holiday accident due to the negligent actions of another driver. If this is your situation, you should contact our accident lawyers immediately. The steps you take following your incident will impact your legal outcome. In Queensland, all road users must have CTP insurance coverage with their vehicle registration.
When you are involved in an auto accident that is wholly or partly not your fault, you have the right to be compensated. Contact our experienced personal injury lawyers to understand your legal options. You pay nothing to start your case and owe us nothing until we win your claim. Splatt Lawyers wishes you and your family all the best for the festive holiday season. Call Us – 1800 700 125.