Wednesday, June 12, 2024
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Let us imagine – a safe Easter

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By Bill Winters, Roadsafe Goulburn Valley

It’s the Easter holiday time, and you are all packed up and prepared for your long-awaited trip to visit family or enjoy some relaxation in the nearby bush areas.

The autumn days are getting shorter, roads can be wetter and driving conditions can be hazardous.

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Post-COVID, many of us are only now finding ourselves taking long car trips, after constant lockdowns rendered us unable to do so.

We may have also noticed the driving skills of our loved ones and even ourselves have diminished after such an extended period of adhering to stay-at-home orders. 

Some questions to consider prior to leaving are: am I well rested, well hydrated, and is the car in tip-top condition?

While driving, please reduce the causes of distractions such as mobile phones, navigation aids and entertainment systems.

Fatigue and speed are two of the greatest contributors to road trauma.

Please take regular breaks, stopping at least every two hours and do not drive when you would normally be sleeping.

Be aware that reduced speed zones are in place at dangerous intersections.

In country areas farmers and contractors often need to move stock and oversized farm equipment. Be patient when passing and moving through animal herds.

Wildlife hazards including deer, kangaroos, wallabies and wombats are abundant on country roads. They are most active between dusk and dawn.

Colliding with any of these animals can cause severe damage and/or injury.

Enlist any passengers to be on the lookout for hazards.

A road crash will change your life forever and that of many others.

Stop the car, rest up, let your people know you are safe and continue driving with a clear mind.

The ripple effect after a collision touches all involved: family, friends, first responders and our health workers – so many.  

If you are driving long distances, take rest breaks and do not speed.

Currently, there are already far too many collisions and a marked increase in lives lost, with the rural Victorian statistics faring worse than those of metropolitan Melbourne.

Do your part this holiday period to avoid contributing to the huge ripple effect that trauma road incidents bring. 

Please note that there are new regulations in effect from April in regards to touching and using mobile phones and other devices – if you are not aware please check the VicRoads or TAC websites for clarification.

Eyes distracted from the road ahead may mean you have travelled some distance in a dangerous manner.

We hope that these tips are of assistance. Arrive safely and enjoy your well-deserved break.

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