Southwest Queensland Police are offering their best safety tips ahead of the school holiday travel rush.
Southwest Queensland Police are offering their best safety tips ahead of the school holiday travel rush.

Outback driving tips to stay safe on school holidays

CHRISTMAS means a lot of travellers will hit the road to visit family and friends, and ahead of the festive season, southwest police have put forward their best driving tips, to help everyone make it to their destination safely.

Fatigue

Outback roads can be tiresome to drive, with unchanging landscapes and long distances to travel. Please ensure that you take regular breaks every two hours if you feel tired.

This could save your life or someone else’s.

Animals

Take notice of your environment and drive to the conditions.

Animals are everywhere in the outback and should you come across cattle or sheep please stop and be patient.

If a kangaroo or other wildlife animal should cross your path, please don’t swerve to avoid the animal as this could cause you to roll your vehicle.

Speed, sunset and sunrise

Speed is one of the major causes of fatalities on Queensland roads.

Always drive to the prevailing conditions, your vehicles capability and your ability.

A lot of Outback Queensland roads are east to west orientation which means clear vision is impossible when the sun is low in the sky.

For this reason try to avoid travelling during sunrise to sunset.

Wildlife are also more likely to be out and about at this time too.

Trucks

In the outback you are bound to see a road train. They can range from 36 metres to 54 metres in length, which is a lot of truck to be overtaking.

You should only ever overtake if safe to do so and visibility is clear.

On narrow roads, you should be prepared to pull off the road and stop on the shoulder of the road should a road train be in your path.

Road trains can weigh in excess of 200 tonnes and cannot stop easily or quickly.

Always drive safely and to the conditions, remembering the Fatal Five contributing factors to traffic crashes which are:

  • Speeding
  • Drink and drug driving
  • Fatigue
  • Seatbelts
  • Distraction and inattention
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