School Holidays in Queensland can mean increased traffic in peak times as families head out and about to explore and keep the children occupied. If you have been in a car with children, you would know that driver distraction and frustration is also likely to increase during these times.
Here are some tips and important reminders to keep you and your family safe while travelling on the roads during the school holidays.
Check Seatbelts and Safety Seats
This is one of the single most important checks to do before you head out onto the roads. Never assume that your restraint is installed correctly. It may have come loose, or another child could have unclipped the seatbelt on the side at any time. Kidsafe provide free child car restraints fittings and checks. Visit kidsafeqld
Be Prepared for Child Boredom
No matter how amazing your trip itinerary is, there are still going to be times when your children get bored. I only had to be driving for 30 minutes and my children were asking, “How long until we get there?’ That was until I decided to always be prepared when travelling with children. There are many things to keep children occupied while travelling. iPad’s with learning activities, Audio books, toys, travel journals for older children, just to name a few. Always be prepared. Have snacks and water for them and let them choose what they want to take in the car. This will help avoid the stress of children distracting you because they are hungry, thirsty or bored.
Allow Extra Time to Travel
How great is Google maps? Not only does it tell you your expected travel time, but it also shows you any congestion on your travel route. To avoid any frustration of being stuck in traffic and rushing against the clock, allow yourself some extra time. So, before heading off, check Google maps and allow an extra 10 to 15 minutes for travel time. If you are travelling long distance allow an extra 15 minute to stop for every two hours.
Beware of Heavy Vehicles
There are many rogue drivers on the roads, and they are not just in heavy vehicles. Many people are not aware of the extra space heavy vehicles need to make turns and manoeuvres on the roads, and their blind spots are much larger than cars. Heavy vehicle drivers have certain limitations when it comes to slowing down and accelerating and their actions can often be perceived as aggressive on the roads.
When driving near trucks, follow at a safe distance, if you cannot see their mirror, they cannot see you. Queensland Government provide great tips on sharing the road with heavy vehicles. https://www.tmr.qld.gov.au/Safety/Driver-guide/Sharing-the-road-with-other-road-users/Heavy-vehicles
Merge Safely on Highways
Of course, it sounds like common sense. But we all know that when approaching a merging lane, it seems like the traffic stops. If you have seen a zipper in operation or heard the phrase “merge using the zipper rule”, you will find it quite simple to merge. Here are some rules to remember when merging into traffic:
- When merging into a lane, the vehicle in front of you has right of way.
- Where there are dual lanes and the lane you are in is ending, give way to the vehicles in the lane you are merging into.
- Always show your intentions to merge by using your indicator to signal.
- Keep a safe distance between your vehicle and the car in front of you and take turns to merge if there are long lines of merging traffic. Yes, turns, where everyone lets one car in… like a zipper.
- Be sure to match a similar speed of the road you’re merging into. Strolling out onto a 100km/h highway doing 40km/h is just going to cause chaos.
We hope you all enjoy the spring school holiday period. Be safe on the roads, particularly those travelling long distances.
Get in touch with us
If you would like to request information about our legal services, or discuss any incidents or accident you have been involved in on the road. Please do not hesitate to contact the Brisbane Lawyers Compensation Team on 1300 695 299.