For many Queenslanders, Christmas has its own meaning. For children it’s about presents under the tree, for others it’s about presence, spending time with family, friends and loved ones. You could even say it’s about creating memories. The school holidays are well underway, with many families chosing to load the car up and hitting the highway. Sadly, we have already seen some horrific fatalities across the State. For the families and communities impacted by this, Christmas will no longer be a time of year to celebrate but instead morning the loss of loved ones.
Young’s Bus Service and the Jason Rich Foundation have some road travel tips to share with you.
- Plan your trip so as to avoid fatigue or having to rush. Set realistic goals. Be aware of increased traffic and congestion as you pass through major cities.
- Is your car ready for a holiday? Check your tyre pressures, tread and oils.
- Sleep properly the day before you travel. Avoid alcohol.
- Take your time. Don’t be in a rush. Enjoy the journey. Play some games and even keep the driver entertained.
- Drive with your headlights on during the day, when road conditions aren’t in your favour. (shade covered stretches of road, position of Sun etc)
- Don’t take any chances. If it’s not safe, wait!
For more travel tips, check out the RACQ Roadtrip Checklist.
We caught up with our friends from the Jason Rich Foundation earlier this week. Jacob McLuskie said “We started the Jason Rich Foundation to better educate young drivers because shortly after his 21st birthday, my best mate Jason Rich tragically died in a car accident. We want to make sure this one life lost will save many more. I’m appealing to all drivers out there, young and old. Please, drive safe on our roads. A loss of concentration for one second can change your life and the lives of everyone you love forever.”
Young’s Bus Service Operations Manager Phil Young also has some advice to share. “We’ve been involved in the transport industry for over 65 years. During this time there hasn’t been anything we haven’t seen on our roads. Usually it’s because road users just lapse in their concentration. We live in a very distracting society with mobiles and other devices flashing and carrying on all the time . I am a very experienced driver and if there’s one thing you don’t want to learn the hard way it’s that if something changes at 100kms an hour, it will usually mean the end of life. If you can’t safely overtake a long vehicle such as a caravan, truck or bus, just be patient for the next safe opportunity. Avoid sitting directly behind large vehicles. Chances are we can’t see you and if we have to stop quickly, you won’t have enough time to react.”
Just recently, the Queensland Police Service added one more to the original Fatal Four list, making it now the Fatal Five. Distraction and inattention was officially added. Speeding, drink and drug driving, failure to wear a seat belt and driving while fatigued make up the rest of the Fatal Five. Driver distraction is now one of the main causes of road crashes, accounting for approximately 1 in 4 car crashes. Using a mobile phone while driving (especially texting) is highly distracting.
Senior Sergeant Ewan Findlater from the Queensland Police Service Rockhampton Road Policing Unit has also said “Our Christmas Road Safety Campaign is about Police maintaining high visibility on all roads. With this we hope all road users will be reminded to drive to the conditions, make good decisions, and arrive at their destinations safely. We’re targeting all offences, with particular emphasis on the fatal five.”
Merry Christmas from all of us here at Young’s Bus Service and the Jason Rich Foundation.
If you’re interested in learning more about road safety, check out the CARRS-Q Safety Essentials website.