Staying safe on the roads over the Christmas/New Year break

Every year, the road toll statistics cause grief and shock across the country, and in our local Sunshine Coast area. In Queensland, the rate of road fatalities has remained at about 5 per 100,000 population for the last two years, although the number of hospitalised casualties has fallen slightly in 2016.

The ‘big three’ identified as major causes of road accidents are excessive speed, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and fatigue.

What can we do to reduce our accident risk? 

Slow down

Almost a quarter of Queensland’s road fatalities so far  in 2016 are attributable to excess speed.

More cars on the roads over the holiday season increases congestion at key points, so allow extra time for your journeys so that you are not tempted to speed.

Work out your travel route taking into consideration things that can impact your progress, for example, road works, hazards and special events. You can obtain up-to-date information on traffic impacts in your area by visiting the Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads website. Again, allow extra time for your journey, taking possible hindrances into account. Queenslanders can also check road conditions via the RACQ website. If driving interstate, consult the relevant state transport department and state automobile association for traffic impacts and road conditions.

Adhere to speed limits, especially when travelling through roadworks, where lanes tend to be narrower, reducing margins for error.

Drive to suit weather conditions – slow down when visibility is impaired by heavy rain, fog or smoke.

If you drink, don’t drive, or if you plan to drive, don’t drink

Just over 17% of Queensland’s road fatalities so far in 2016 involved excess alcohol. The percentage of alcohol-related fatalities has been gradually increasing since 2010, despite public education campaigns and frequent publicity about the dangers of drink driving.

Having any amount of alcohol when driving increases your risk of being involved in a crash.

If you are going away from home for your Christmas and New Year celebrations, either designate a driver who will not drink alcohol, or plan to stay over.

If you are the host, make sure there are plenty of non-alcoholic drinks, and plenty of food. Discourage your guests from driving drunk; offer them a bed for the night.

Take a break

Approximately 16% of Queensland’s road fatalities so far in 2016 were related to fatigue. Statistics show that driving between 10pm and dawn increases fourfold your chance of being involved in a fatal, fatigue-related crash.

Driving longer distances than you are used to, and on unfamiliar roads, increases your risk of accident. So, plan your journey allowing time for frequent breaks, and changes of driver.

Make use of Driver Reviver locations – check the Driver Reviver website for details – and designated rest areas – check state transport departments for locations.

Avoid starting a long journey after a day’s work, and avoid driving at times when you would normally be sleeping. If you feel sleepy, pull over – fighting tiredness doesn’t help, and the only cure is sleep.

Be prepared

Equip your vehicle with a first aid kit, and make sure your CPR and first aid certifications are up-to-date.

Provide CPR and Provide First Aid courses are run at our Birtinya training centre and at premises in Noosa.

To book into your next first aid course please book online via our secure website or phone 07 5438 8888.

Allens Training Sunshine Coast training premises in Birtinya (Kawana) includes a retail outlet that sells a variety of first aid kits for home and office, and we can ship these anywhere in Australia, and more locally including, Caloundra, Noosa, Coolum, Mooloolaba, Maleny, Caboolture or anywhere across the Sunshine Coast.

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