Exams are finally done, lockdown restrictions are being lifted and it’s time to hit the road and celebrate your new-found freedom.
Whether you’re heading off to Schoolies, enjoying the long uni holidays or just chilling at the beach, this summer is sure to be full of good times and plenty of road trips with mates.
Safety tips for young drivers
Whatever your destination, make sure you arrive there safely by following these simple tips:
- If you’re travelling a long distance, get your car checked out by a mechanic first to make sure it’s in a good condition to avoid roadside breakdowns, and that your car has adequate safety measures in the unfortunate event you get in an accident;
- Familiarise yourself with the local road rules, especially if you’re travelling interstate as these may differ;
- Observe all rules and regulations, including those attached to your probationary licence such as zero blood alcohol levels and passenger restrictions;
- Remember never to use your phone while driving;
- If you and your friends plan on drinking, make sure you have a designated driver decided before you start drinking (draw straws if you need to) or organise alternative transport;
- It’s illegal to drive with drugs in your system;
- If you feel uncomfortable at any stage, speak up;
- Stay alert on long drives and unfamiliar roads; and
- Make sure you take adequate breaks, especially if you’re driving long distances or overnight or are not properly rested. If you’re tired, take a power-nap.
Why these tips are important
Sadly, Australian road statistics tell us that young drivers are much more likely to be involved in car accidents than older, more experienced drivers, with young males being particularly at risk.
According to the Transport Accident Commission (TAC) in Victoria, in 2019, 18 to 25 year-olds made up 19% of the people killed on Victorian roads, despite the fact they only made up about 10% of Victoria’s driving population.
A similar story is presented in New South Wales where 17 to 25 year-olds accounted for 17% of the road toll in that state in 2019.
Whilst in Queensland, young drivers, 17-24 years of age made up 29.7% of road fatalities in 2019.
That’s not to say that young drivers shouldn’t be out there enjoying the fun and sun this summer. A good road trip with friends is almost a rite of passage. But it’s also very important to remember to be smart and stay safe.
Following the simple tips above will help make sure you have a summer to remember for all the right reasons.
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The contents of this blog post are considered accurate as at the date of publication. However the applicable laws may be subject to change, thereby affecting the accuracy of the article. The information contained in this blog post is of a general nature only and is not specific to anyone’s personal circumstances. Please seek legal advice before acting on any of the information contained in this post.