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

We all want to feel safe on the road – so here are 10 things to keep in mind when you do hit the road

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 Towards Zero, 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

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

You should also give our road trip playlist a whirl – it’s also great for beach days or evening barbecue parties! If your favourite driving track didn’t make the cut,  pop your suggestions in the comments below!

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.

Podcasts

You might also like to download a podcast app, such as Spotify or Podcast Addict, which offers easy listening across a variety of genres. Other podcasts like Laughable are comedy oriented,  while TuneIn Radio covers a variety of worldwide sports.  The best bit? Many podcast apps are free!

A handful of our podcast picks include:

  • Casefile: Australian narrator covering historical true crime cases from around the world.
  • Damn Interesting! Exactly that, though probably lesser-known. Curious and interesting historical events and profiles of interesting people.
  • Dan Carlin’s Hard Core History : Energetically narrated, historically significant people and events.
  • Let’s Talk About Sects: Deep dives into cults over time.
  • Regional Voices: Inspiring stories of initiative and resourcefulness in regional Australia.
  • Stuff You Should Know: Essentially explains how ‘stuff’ works. Explores topics and answers questions you might not have thought of before. Great for quiz night knowledge!
  • TED Talks: A variety of world-wide topics and discussions.
  • This American Life: Unique and personal stories from across America’s cosmopolitan community.
  • How I Built This: Stories about well-known innovators and their business empires – from Wikipedia to AirBnB, WeWork, Burt’s Bees and Perth’s very own Canva!
  • Business Wars: Explains the growth of big businesses we all know and a key competitor. Think, North Face vs Patagona, Amazon vs Walmart, Hershey vs Mars | Starbucks v Dunkin Donuts | Airbus v Boeing and more!
  • All the Dirt: Western Australian-based Deryn Thorpe and Steve Wood present advice and interviews with other experts, on gardening, food and sustainability.

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 online shop offers a selection of rewards that you can choose from, either by redeeming points, or by using points and pay. Keep an eye on their flybuys 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 tyre pressurechecking tyre tread

Did you know your tyres must have 1.4mm or more tread depth to be legal?

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 your tyres are inflated correctly.

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 rideshare 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.

Try putting on some classical music, ABC Classic FM is available online and on the radio (tune to 97.7 in WA, 97.9 in NT) to help calm any road-rage.

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 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.

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. That’s as wide as Perth Stadium!

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 some Kwik-Gas on the way, or if you’re hosting, make sure you know how much gas is left in that cylinder.

Did you know RAC members save big with Kleenheat?

Thanks to our partnership with RAC, Kleenheat customers could save even more on natural gas or their gas cylinder order, simply by being an RAC member.

Before you hit the road, check out RAC’s travel advice and tips and learn about a heap of other RAC Member Benefits, including accommodation, attractions and travel discounts to help you hit the road.

Choose home grown, choose Kleenheat

Kleenheat knows the value of homegrown goodness – after all, we’ve been supporting the needs of local households and businesses for more than 60 years.

We believe there’s value in choosing local, so if you’re not a Kleenheat customer choose local today and let life flow.

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