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With Christmas rapidly approaching, many Australians are thinking of hitting the highway to spend the festive season with friends and family or head to their favourite holiday location.

While the Christmas and New Year period is a time of celebration, it’s also a period of high risk for motorists.  Last year, 36 Australians and New Zealanders lost their lives due to road crashes at Christmas time.

Below are 5 holiday driving tips to help make sure you get to your destination safely:

1. Give your car a check-up

The lead up to Christmas can be so hectic, it’s easy to overlook tasks like checking your vehicle’s cooling system, lights, tyres and brakes.

However, it’s crucial to ensure your car’s in top condition before hitting the road. Book your vehicle in for a service to be sure it’s safe to drive.

2. Give yourself a break

Christmas can be stressful and stress can affect sleep. However, driver fatigue is a major killer on Australian roads.

At this time of year, many drivers attempt to avoid traffic by leaving for their holiday in the early hours of the morning, when they are usually sleeping. Also, during longer road trips, tired motorists can feel tempted to keep driving in order to make up time, rather than pulling over for a break.

It’s imperative that motorists are well rested before a long drive, to avoid putting themselves, passengers and other road users at risk.

Also, plan regular stops and make sure you take a 15 minute power nap the second you notice any signs of fatigue.

Having someone to share driving with also helps and is vital if you are planning on drinking or feel you will be especially tired after a Christmas party.

3. Don’t drink and drive

Seriously, not even a little bit. The reality is there is no such thing as safe drink driving, because even though you may feel normal after having a few, even a small amount of alcohol will affect you.

New drivers with alcohol in their system are also more likely to have an accident. If you are planning on drinking, don’t drive. Have a designated sober driver take you home or take a taxi. It’s simply not worth the risk.

4. Show restraint

In Australia, close to a quarter of people killed in car crashes are not wearing seat belts. Make sure everyone in your car is wearing a seatbelt or child restraint.

Drivers also need to ensure that pets, luggage or other objects are properly secured as unrestrained objects can quickly become projectiles and cause injury to other occupants.

5. Avoid distracted driving

It goes without saying that texting or talking on a mobile phone while driving is a big no-no. However, other forms of distractions while driving including adjusting the car radio, checking maps, attending to children and eating or drinking can be just as dangerous.

Make sure kids are well prepared with activities and everything they need before driving, pre-set your car radio and GPS system and when driving, keep your eyes on the road and your hands on the wheel.

Do you have anything to add to this list? SHARE with us in the comments below.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.com
  • Making sure your kids have things to do is essential otherwise fights and things can distract the driver. We have a game called zingo on the go which entertains our kids for a while.

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  • We love road trips! Sometimes we just pack up and go somewhere. We only pack a few snacks and drinks, and the rest we will get once we pass towns so we can get out, explore and stretch our legs…

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  • We always have an esky bag full of pre-cut fruits and veggies that we can snack on during the drive. And lots and lots of water!

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  • Planning a trip later this year, thanks fro the tips.

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  • Great tips to follow throughout the year not just, during the holiday season.

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  • Taking lots of little breaks is ideal if you can.

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  • If you’re doing outback driving take water, have a break every 2 hours, learn how to overtake properly, don’t underestimate the length of road trains, watch out for animals, avoid driving at dawn and dusk (because of animals) and if you bresk down DON’T LEAVE YOUR VEHICLE!!

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  • great ideas… thankyou

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  • I can’t believe that so many people do not wear a seat belt!

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  • A wonderful article. We should all consider these clever points.

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  • I guess everyone had a safe and joyful holiday.

    I am now back at office sitting behind my desk day-dreaming the sunny beach…

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  • We just did 10 hours with Miss 3 and she was so good I couldn’t believe and she didn’t want the DVD player once.

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  • Plan early, don’t take things you don’t really need and won’t use. It’s easy to get a full car if you’re not careful. Lots of activities for kids and family car games can be great.

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  • I think most important thing is to plan early and be organised, so when you go you don’t have to stress and can just have a good time.

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  • You definitely need to be oreoared and have things that you need urgently close by – like nappies, wet wipes so you dont have to unoack the whole boot each time. We also leave early to beat the traffic.m

    Reply

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