Just days after a horror road accident on the Princes Highway near Tilba claimed the life of a 19-year-old tourist and left her passenger in a critical condition, police have urged the shire's motorists to take extra care.
Far South Coast Local Area Command Detective Inspector Kevin McNeil said fatigue, speeding, alcohol and drugs remained the biggest killers on the roads.
“At holiday times, we warn people to prepare for their trips and take adequate rests while driving,” Detective Inspector McNeil said.
He said the message was equally important for holidaymakers unfamiliar with the shire’s roads as it was for locals.
The NSW Police Crash Investigation Unit is investigating Saturday’s crash.
Meanwhile, national not-for-profit organisation Road Safety Education Limited (RSE) has put out a statement warning of the dangers young people face on Australian roads at this time of the year when more young people are driving to visit families and holiday destinations.
“Getting behind the wheel of a car as a young driver or passenger is said to be among the most dangerous things a person will do in their entire life,” according to RSE chief executive office Terry Birss.
The organisation is intent on reducing road trauma among young drivers, by educating high school students through its highly acclaimed RYDA program, which provides powerful workshops to change the way young people think about road safety.
RSE has strong support from corporate partners along with Rotary Clubs, whose volunteers coordinate the program in their local area.
Some tips to bear in mind:
Distance between your car and the car in front
Always keep a minimum three seconds gap between you and the car in front. When it's raining and/or foggy double the distance to six seconds no matter what speed you're doing.
Always indicate when changing lanes, 30 metres wherever practical, to advise other motorists of what you are doing.
Drive with your line of sight parallel to the road not looking down onto it. By doing this you see further into the distance so you can be better prepared if there is a problem ahead. It may even mean you can avoid a crash.
Ensure you have enough room to go past the vehicle you are overtaking and not cut them off. Pick you time carefully as overtaking can be quite dangerous and making the wrong decision may result in a serious crash.
Driving at night
Driving at night requires more skill & concentration than at daytime due to your restricted vision. Oncoming headlights can obscure your vision and pedestrians can be near impossible to see. Leave a bigger gap between you and the car in front to allow for your reduced vision and reaction time.
Stay relaxed and try not to let other people's driving skills or decisions worry you. If another driver makes a mistake don't get angry - just concentrate on your own driving skills, behaviour and safety.
“Drivers must remember that travelling during holiday periods can be more risky because of increased traffic volumes, congestion, tiredness, there are higher numbers of people driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and people may be driving in unfamiliar environments,” Mr Birss said.
“Being courteous and flexible, remembering to share the road with others, allowing increased time for the journey, and scheduling frequent breaks can help drivers to stay safe during these high-pressure periods.”
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