BE PATIENT: Officer in Charge at Dalby Ambulance, Matthew Davenport, urges everyone to drive safely these holidas.
BE PATIENT: Officer in Charge at Dalby Ambulance, Matthew Davenport, urges everyone to drive safely these holidas. Nicole McDougall

Safe driving is key to arriving alive for holiday

SCHOOL holidays are a time when families should be relaxing and spending quality time together but, unfortunately, this isn't always the case.

With increased traffic on the roads around Easter time, the risk of road accidents increases significantly if drivers aren't paying enough attention.

Dalby Ambulance officer in charge Matt Davenport has attended many serious accidents around the Dalby area and said every accident could can be prevented.

"Be patient, especially with the roadworks around the area - it's going to take a bit longer and people need to make sure they're not getting distracted with their mobile phones or speeding through the areas,” Mr Davenport said.

"Drivers should also be having regular breaks so they're not driving tired.

"School holidays means there will be more traffic on the roads and that's the time people should be spending with their families.

"Just be patient on the roads these holidays, that's all there is to it.

"Everyone needs to arrive alive,” he said.

QUT Centre for Accident Research and Road Safety Queensland spokesman Dr Chris Watling said sleepiness was often ignored by drivers in favour of reaching their destination, despite driver fatigue accounting for an estimated 15% of fatal crashes in Queensland.

"Studies have shown that between 60 and 80% of drivers will report feeling sleepy while driving but, what is really concerning, is that 70% won't stop once aware of their increased sleepiness,” Dr Watling said.

"Just pulling over, stopping for a coffee, taking a short nap or stretching your legs for 15 minutes during a long drive reduces your risk of falling asleep and crashing.

"What we are suggesting is people plan their journey and schedule stops along the way to take advantage of the sights and stop at points of interest.

"Sleepiness has been shown to significantly impair a person's cognitive and psychomotor abilities, which impact safety-critical tasks such as driving, attention, working memory and coordination,” he said.

With more than 400 rest stops in Queensland, it shouldn't be difficult to plan a break in your journey these holidays.

"Not only does this reduce the risk of crashing, but it can also be a way to make the journey more enjoyable,” Dr Watling said.


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