We all want to feel safe on the road.
At this time of the year, you might need to travel from work parties, to family lunches, to barbecues at the beach with friends and then perhaps away for a holiday break.
That is a lot of driving, 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!
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.
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!
3. Road rules – it’s double demerit season!
While safe driving should always be top priority, it’s emphasised further over holiday periods when double demerits come into play.
Between Friday 20 December 2019 and Sunday 5 January 2020, speeding, drink driving, using your phone or not wearing a seat belt could cost you twice the penalty in WA.
4. Check your tyre tread and tyre pressure
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 competitive rideshare option like DiDi!
Did you know Kleenheat customers save with DiDi? Scroll down to see the full offer!
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 s 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 LPG 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.
We’ve partnered with low-fare rideshare app, DiDi!
DiDi is offering Kleenheat customers, an eleven coupon welcome pack, allowing you to save on your journeys this festive season. The promo code provides new DiDi users with a once off $10 voucher and 10 x $5 vouchers until they are all redeemed.
How to redeem?
Simply download the DiDi-Rider app and use the code “KLEENHEATXMAS” to receive the promo offer.
Terms and conditions
Valid for new WA users only; coupons are provided in 1x $10 and 10x $5 coupon values, with a maximum limit of one coupon, per ride. Promotion is valid until 15 January. Vouchers expire within 14 days upon redemption.