Skip to main content

Driving safely: 10 tips to keep in mind before getting behind the wheel

Whether you’re off on a local road trip, travelling to see friends and family or just our exploring the wide-open road – we all want to feel safe behind the wheel.

Look out for your personal safety and the safety of others with these simple tips.

1. Take regular breaks or a nap, swap drivers, and claim a free coffee!

Being road wise means taking breaks, swapping drivers regularly, and taking a nap before getting fatigued on longer road trips.

A number of roadhouses and fuel stations offer free coffee for drivers as part of the WA road safety initiative Driving Change, which aims to minimise accidents resulting from driver fatigue.

The WA Coffee Stop Program has also been fuelling-up local drivers since 1993- check the full list of roadhouses and service stations offering free coffee.

2. Driving entertainment for all ages

We’ve all been involved in a ‘how to escape road trip boredom’ scenario – often playing ‘I Spy’ for hours – but these days there are other ways to stay entertained!road trip playlist tape

Playlists & Podcasts & Audio Books

Load your smartphone with your favourite tunes to keep you tapping and humming all the way to your destination and back again.

Don’t forget if you use data to listen to podcasts or music, it’s best to download the playlist before hitting the road to keep the music flowing if you lose mobile coverage.

You might also like to download a podcast app, such as Spotify or Podcast Addict, which offers easy listening across a variety of genres. The ABC Listen app is another that has a broad genre of listening choices. The best bit about podcast apps is that most are free!

3. Need to stock up on a few things before hitting the road?

Browse the Flybuys store to see if you can get what you need, for a little less. Did you know, for every dollar of your Kleenheat gas bill, you receive one Flybuys point?

The Flybuys store offers a selection of rewards that you can choose from, either by redeeming points, or by using points and pay. Sign in to your Flybuys account to keep an eye on the members exclusive weekly offers and specials for great opportunities to save!

Start taking advantage of this bonus, by logging into your My Account and linking your Flybuys membership with your Kleenheat account.

4. Check your tyre tread and pressurechecking tyre tread

Did you know your tyres must legally have 1.5mm or more tread depth?

Most roadhouses have tyre pump stations with the correct pressure per vehicle type (from bicycles to utes) and it only takes a few minutes to ensure they’re inflated correctly.

Consider checking to see if you need new tyres before hitting the road.

5. Get some polarised sunglasses

In summer, spending a lot of time in the driver’s seat means dealing with plenty of sunshine, glare and reflection from your car’s surrounds.

While standard sunglasses can get the job done, polarised sunnies are perfect for anyone who spends a lot of time outdoors, helping improve your vision in high-glare situations and reducing eyestrain.

6. Big night? Don’t drive.

Sure, you might do the right thing and stay at a friend’s place instead of driving home after a big night out – but early the next morning you still might not be OK to drive.

Stay on the safe side and avoid driving all together, either with a lift from a friend, catching a taxi or using a ride-share option.

7. Keep a safe driving distance and indicate properly

You won’t get there any faster if you’re tailgating. Plus, if you need to stop quickly, you risk causing an accident the closer you drive to vehicles in front of you.

Take a deep breath, don’t rush to change lanes or overtake and keep an eye on overtaking lane signage. If you plan on driving in more regional and remote areas keep in mind, varying road surfaces, road trains and rest stops.

Try putting on some classical music, to help calm any road rage. ABC Classic FM is available online and on the radio. Simply download the ABC Listen app or tune in to 97.7 in WA or 97.9 in NT.

8. Know the signs for when it’s time to take a break (and take it!)

You might consider yourself a safe driver, but what about your passengers?

Driving tired is dangerous for you, your passengers and other road users – so recognising the signs of tiredness early is important.

Yawning, sore or heavy eyes, slower reaction times and daydreaming are all signs of weariness behind the wheel.

It’s OK to take a break, even if you’re in a rush to get somewhere. Your late arrival is better than not arriving at all.

9. Don’t swerve to avoid animals

Kangaroos, emus, camels, snakes, blue-tongue lizards and birds – just some of the animals you may encounter on any road trip journey.

Swerving at high speeds can be more dangerous than hitting the animal, so don’t risk your own and other road-users lives by swerving at high speed.

Invest in spotlights, fog lights or a bullbar for added safety, and make sure your vehicle is insured.

RAC has also compiled some handy tips to help you avoid animal collisions.

10. Don’t use your phone when driving

These days mobile phones are a part of life, but they should never be part of your driving.

According to RAC, taking five seconds to read a text while behind the wheel at 100km/hr is the equivalent of driving 138m blindfolded.

Bluetooth helps if someone needs to call you, but if you really need to use your phone, the safest option is to pull over.

One last reminder…

Packed and ready to hit the road for that barbecue lunch? Great!

Don’t forget to check if you need to pick up a bottle of Kwik-Gas on the way, or if you’re hosting, make sure you know how much gas is left in that cylinder.