Easter weekend driving warning

Ben Gribbin 24 March 2018 NEWS

Travellers on Easter weekend warned to be extra vigilant.

During the long Easter weekend, our roads experience heavy traffic with more drivers on the road. The chance of having an accident increases. In 2007 for example, 17 people lost their lives on the roads over Easter Weekend.

Car Hire Excess is encouraging drivers to stay cautious when driving over the Easter break.

According to Car Hire Excess director, Natalie Ball, speeding continues to be the leading cause of road deaths and injuries. Research conducted by the rental car insurance specialists showed 37.9% of drivers openly admit to speeding. 16% said they had driven up to 30kmh over the speed limit.

“Speeding contributes to around a third of Australian road fatalities and leads to more than 4000 injuries each year,” Ball said.

According to Ball, drivers become focused on getting to their destination to make the most of the downtime, rather than concentrating on safety.

“Unfortunately, safety can be a secondary concern during peak seasons like Easter where many travellers place a high priority on getting to their destination as quickly as possible,” said Ball.

The secret to safe, hassle-free driving

According to Ball, the secret to safe and stress-free driving is simple. Plan ahead.

“The hard truth is that speeding can mean you never make it to your destination. Aussies gearing up for long distance car trips should plan their Easter travel arrangements with significant lead time, eliminating the temptation to speed. A few basic road safety measures can make all the difference when it comes to ensuring the safety of your friends and family,” Ball said.

Double demerits on Easter weekend

Reckless Easter weekend drivers are subject to double demerits if caught. Double demerit offences include speeding, failing to wear a seatbelt or child restraint, driving through a red light and using a mobile phone whilst driving. Fines could reach $884.

Safe driving tips

Car Hire Excess also shared some safe driving tips:

  • Slow down. Driving faster increases the braking distance required to stop and gives drivers less time to react. Maintain a three-second gap to the vehicle in front, four if it is wet or foggy.
  • Don't drive tired. Tiredness presents a huge danger to ourselves, our passengers and other road users. The effects have been likened to drink driving. If you feel drowsy or sleepy, pull over and have a nap.
  • Check your car. Check your oil, washer and coolant levels. Also, maintain the correct tyre pressure. Stopping by the roadside increases your risk of injury in an accident.
  • Expect the unexpected. Humans are unpredictable. Expect other drivers to make mistakes and do unpredictable manoeuvres.
  • Be Courteous. Where possible, pay it forward and help other motorists. This can reduce road rage and improve safety.

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