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How to stay safe on the roads this Christmas

The holiday season is a time to enjoy the company of your family and friends. Tragically, it’s also one of the most dangerous periods of the year for motorists. According to SBS News, 28 lives were lost on Australian roads over the 2015 Christmas period- the exact same number as the year before.

Click here for an interactive map of road accidents across Queensland and Victoria.

Stay safe: Shine's top tips

There are no guarantees in life, but to give yourself the best chance of staying safe over the holiday break, it’s important to take precautions. As Christmas is often a time for travel, and especially for travelling long distances, here are some of Shine's top tips for a safer journey during the festive season:

  • Don’t drive tired - Get enough sleep the night before and, if you find yourself becoming drowsy while driving, pull over and take a 15-20-minute nap. Don’t rely on caffeinated drinks. They may perk you up at first, but the effects quickly fade. Read more about the dangers of drowsy driving here.
  • Take a break - If you’re travelling with somebody else, take turns behind the wheel. If you’re travelling alone, pull over and take regular breaks.
  • Watch where you stop - If you need to pull the vehicle over in an emergency, make sure that you’ve stopped in a safe spot. Always have your hazard lights on and make sure everyone in the vehicle is off the road.
  • Check the weather - If severe storms are on the horizon, try and delay driving if possible. If you do get stuck in bad conditions, adjust your driving accordingly. If it’s wet, slow down and turn on your headlights.
  • Get your vehicle ready - Make sure your car is ready for the long journey. Click here for more information on getting your car ready for those long drives.
  • Pack away and lock up - Each year, loose items inside cars cause hundreds of serious injuries in road accidents. Don't risk it this Christmas. Ensure everything coming with you on your road trip is properly stored or secured to your vehicle.
  • Avoid distractions - Don’t text and drive, and make sure everyone in the vehicle understands the importance of not distracting the driver, especially on long trips.
  • Watch out for other drivers - You might be taking safety seriously, but it doesn’t mean everybody else is. Keep an eye out for other road users’ unpredictable lane changes, swerving, tailgating and un-signalled turns.
  • Be sensible - Avoid unnecessary risk-taking behaviour. It's not worth it. Don’t speed, don’t drink and drive, and always wear a seat belt.
  • Plan your trip - Decide what route you'll take and how long it will take you to get there. This way, you can make time for regular rest-stops and breaks.

Shine Lawyers - Get in touch

If you're summer road trip doesn't go to plan, we're here to help. At Shine Lawyers, we're motor vehicle accident claim experts. Through our tailored No Win, No Fee service, we can help you access the compensation you need to get back on your feet following a motor vehicle accident.

Get in touch today for more information or to begin your legal journey.

Written by Shine Lawyers. Last modified: November 27, 2016.

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