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With parts of Australia sweltering through extreme summer weather, VicRoads has released some timely advice for drivers to remain cool.

Adelaide is due to hit 41C today and tomorrow, while Melbourne is expected to nudge 40C before the weekend. Early next week Sydney’s west can expect a scorching top of 43C.

Earlier this month the summer heat saw a 10km stretch of road along the Hume Freeway in Central Victoria melt, and traffic diverted by Victoria Police.

These examples suggest the need for all motorists to take extra care on the roads during this particularly warm period.

A 10km stretch of road on the Hume Freeway in central Victoria began melting in the heat earlier this month

How to keep safe and cool while on the road this summer: 

  • As the weather heats up, breakdowns are more likely to occur.
  • If possible, avoid unnecessary trips in these conditions.
  • When travelling, please be patient and check that you have enough fuel, oil and water in your car before setting off.
  • If you do break down, where possible, stop or park in the shade and avoid parking on long dry grass. It can be a potential fire hazard.
  • Never leave children or pets in a car unattended. Temperatures rise to dangerous levels quickly. Only a few minutes in a closed car can result in serious injuries or even death.

From a fleet perspective, consider paying special attention to the condition of your vehicles during the summer months. In particular, consider where the vehicles are being parked, and if they can be moved to undercover or shaded areas to keep the vehicles cooler. Can your employees schedule their movements to cooler and quieter periods of the day?

A cooler vehicle will naturally use less fuel so keeping travel to a minimum during the warmer part of the day can provide significant savings and improved comfort for your drivers.

Don’t ignore the heat this summer.