Scorching summers in Australia not only come with soaring temperatures but also unique challenges for drives. Whether you’re going for a short trip or a long drive across borders, staying safe on the road requires preparation, awareness, and responsible driving. Here are some essential tips to make sure your journey is secure and comfortable amid the blistering heat.
Even before hitting the road, thoroughly check your vehicle. Ensure that cooling systems are in top condition and your radiator is filled with coolant. Don’t forget to check tire pressure, oil, and brake fluid levels to avoid breakdowns due to overheating.
Protect Yourself from the Sun
A hot car can be dangerous, especially for children and older adults who are prone to heat-related illnesses. If you need to park, make sure you do it in shaded areas. Protect yourself and your passengers by using sunshades and sunglasses. And don’t forget your SPF!
Hydration is key, especially during hot days. Carry enough drinking water for everyone on board. Drink water regularly, especially on longer journeys to avoid dehydration which affects concentration and reaction time.
A well-planned trip is a safe trip. Whenever you can, avoid peak heat and plan your trips during cooler parts of the day like in the mornings or the evenings, check weather forecasts and road conditions and stay in before departure to avoid potential disruptions like road closures. Stay informed of emergency alerts like extreme heat events or bushfires so you can adjust your travel plans as necessary.
Hot summers can also mean scorching roads which can cause tyre blowouts. Check your tyres for wear and tear, make sure they’re properly inflated, and avoid overloading your vehicles. Don’t forget your spare tyre and the proper tools in case you need to change it on the road.
In the sweltering heat, a well-functioning air conditioning system can make your drive more comfortable, help prevent fatigue, and enhance your focus on the road. Before leaving for a trip, have your AC system serviced. This should include re-gassing and a thorough check of the vents, filter, and refrigerant hose.
Pack an emergency kit containing a first aid kit, a flashlight, jumper cables, and a full-charged mobile phone. Make sure you also pack the necessary tools that can help you in the event of a breakdown.
Watch for Wildlife
If you’re driving in rural and regional areas, make sure to watch out for wildlife that may be crossing the road. Reduce especially near waterholes and creeks. It’s also best to stay alert since these animals can be harder to see at sunrise and sunset.
Long drives can be physically and mentally exhausting. So be sure to plan regular breaks so you can stretch your legs and rest. This can help you stay alert while driving.
Safe driving during hot Australian summers requires a combination of proactive vehicle maintenance, personal well-being, and responsible driving habits. By following these tips, you can enjoy a secure and enjoyable road trip, even in the face of the challenging conditions that the Australian summer may present.
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