Driving Safe in the Summer
Dangerous drivers are on the road every day, but it is during the summer months with longer days and a brighter sun that there is a significant increase in the number of accidents. Driving during the summer months offers a unique set of obstacles and you need to adjust your driving to match.
Staying Focussed on the Road
Your main job as a driver is to keep focussed and make sure your passengers arrive at their destinations safe and sound. While there can be many distractions in a vehicle, there are ways that you can minimize these.
Keeping the Kids Amused
Talkative or arguing kids are the number one distraction (well for those with children!) that drivers face on summer trips. It has been recorded that kids chattering is more distracting than using a phone.
If you have the ability to keep them amused, such as laptops or in car movies you should use these. But if not, then finding a game you can play as a family is almost as good. Some great games to play are:
- Eye Spy – The player has to find an object and give s the first letter as a clue, the guessers need to figure out what the object is.
- 20 Questions – The player thinks of an item (plant, mineral or animal) and the guessers have 20 questions to uncover the object.
- License Plate Trivia – Using the license plate of cars you pass try to make up a sentence that relates to the occupants of that car.
Put Away Your Phones
Phones are probably the most distracting devices ever, they are constantly beeping and buzzing all to get your attention. Even in the few seconds that it takes to look at your notifications, the car can travel about 200 metres. This is long enough for conditions to change and could see you having an accident before you know it.
If you find it hard to not look at your phone, try locking it away in the glove box or just toss it onto the back seats. Or if that doesn’t help, perhaps remind yourself that using a phone while driving is illegal in all states in Australia and attracts a fine of about $500.
Turn the Radio Down or Off
While listening to the radio can make the time go easier, you should keep the volume low. This is so you can still hear the road and other noises that the car makes. The noise generated by the car and the road should be constant, if something changes there may be a problem, and you need to be able to hear this. You should never drive with headphones in ever.
Knowing how you are going to get to your destination can make you drive safe as you won’t be looking at a map or trying to listen to instructions spoken by an in-car navigation. Familiarize yourself with the route you are going to take, most map searches will show if there are roadworks or any other delays in the area.
Drivers that do not fully know where they are going are prone to make mistakes by stopping late to take turns or pulling over suddenly to check maps.
Keep Your Eyes Clear
Many accidents happen due to road glare, put simply the driver was blinded by the light reflecting off the road and they could not see what was ahead of them. If you are going to be driving into the sun be sure to have some sunglasses to limit any road glare. It is best practise to keep a spare set in the car. Be extra mindful in light rain on sunny days, as this can give the wet road a mirrored appearance.
Watch Your Speed
Maintain your speed and keep an eye on how fast you are travelling. In most fatalities in road accidents, speed was a major factor. Keep to the posted limits and watch your speed around corners with posted recommended speed limits.
If you need to overtake someone, you still need to keep within the posted speed limits.
Watch for Pedestrians and Cyclists
Summer usually sees in influx of pedestrians, runners, and cyclists on or near the road. Be mindful of these vulnerable road users and adjust your speed accordingly. If you’re travelling during school holidays, there will be many more people about, especially children who may not be as aware of the road rules.