They don’t call it the silly season for nothing. The Summer holiday period, and more specifically, Christmas time, has long been a busy and high-risk time of year on our roads in Australia. According to studies completed by the Department Of Infrastructure, December has consistently been the worst month of the year for road trauma for the 29 years between 1989 and 2017. 

It is our top priority for everyone to stay safe on the roads while enjoying the festive season, so w have put together our top summer driving tips to help you manage your road safety this Christmas.summer driving tips

1. Watch Your Alcohol Consumption 

Sure, dealing with in-laws and extended family can encourage you to pick up that extra cup of liquid courage, however it’s simply not worth the risk. The police come out in full force during the holidays with more Mobile RBT units than any other time of year. Not only do you risk a hefty fine, double demerits and loss of license, you’re also putting your family and friends in the car and others on the road in danger.

2. Take Frequent Rest Breaks

It’s a busy time of year and it’s understandable that tying things up at work before your break, driving from one city for breakfast to another for lunch and yet another destination for Christmas dinner can be exhausting. Tiredness is a major cause of fatal accidents on Australian roads.

If you’re showing any signs of fatigue, you shouldn’t get behind the wheel. If you’re mid-way through your journey and start to feel a bit sleepy, pull-over at a rest stop, grab a cup of coffee and fresh bottle of water and take some time to revive yourself.

3. Stay Off Your Phone

It’s never safe to use your phone while driving. And with mobile detection units being rolled out across NSW, you’re at more risk than ever for getting caught which could quickly lead to the loss of your license.

If possible, opt to use the GPS in your car over the one in your phone so you have less of a need to touch it. And remember, the only times you’re allowed to operate your phone while driving is if it’s in a cradle fixed to the vehicle, but only if you’re making or answering a call, or operating your GPS. Texting, emailing and using social media are absolute no-nos.

4. Know Your Route Before You Go

There’s nothing more distracting than trying to deal with Google maps mid trip. It’s always safest to get a good understanding of the route you’ll be taking to get to your Christmas events before you take off. That way, you don’t need to take your eyes off the road and worry about trying to play around with maps. You’ll also be more prepared for upcoming highway exits, roundabouts and turnoffs so you’re not making unsafe last-minute moves.

5. Plan Ahead

Leaving plenty of time to get to your destination and being aware of peak and off-peak road conditions means speeding shouldn’t be a factor. A change of just a few KMs per hour can be the difference between being able to stop in time and finding yourself in an accident. Know how long your journey should take, plan extra time for any necessary rest breaks and be sure to leave early enough to give you plenty of time get there in one piece.