After three fatal crashes in the Limestone Coast LSA in the past three days police cannot reiterate enough how important it is for motorists of all ages to take care when driving. Drivers, especially those that may be travelling on country roads are reminded to obey road rules and drive responsibly for their own safety and for the safety of other road users.
The causes of the three recent fatal collisions are still being investigated, however police will continue to be a highly visible presence on rural roads and continue to monitor and target ‘The Fatal Five’ – speeding, seatbelt use, drink/drug driving, distracted driving and dangerous driving – which are key contributing factors to fatal crashes and road trauma. Driving is a complex task, requiring drivers to use and coordinate a number of skills and any lapse in concentration increases the risk of the vehicle being involved in a crash.
- Plan the journey in advance, be patient on the road.
- Be aware of changed traffic conditions and congestion.
- Take the time to take time out: fatigue is a causal factor in up to 30 per cent of fatalities in Australia
- A stop at least every two hours for a 10 minute break is recommended: get out, stretch and having something to eat or drink (but avoid large meals).
- Have a good night’s sleep the night before and avoid driving at times you might normally be sleeping.
- Don’t drive for more than 10 hours a day.
- If possible - swap drivers.
- Don’t take medications that make you drowsy.
- If you feel tired before you set out you shouldn't be driving
- Fatigue can produce inattention, zoning out and day-dreaming which are all extremely hazardous while driving. Even the most careful driver can be susceptible to the effects of fatigue.
- Adjust your speed to suit the weather; slow down if the conditions deteriorate.
- Use headlights on country roads during the day so your vehicle can be easily seen.
- Do not overtake on a hill or bend.
- Police will be conducting extra Static and Mobile Random Driver Testing for alcohol and/or illicit drugs across the State and drivers can be pulled over at any time for testing.
- Wearing a seat belt is one of easiest ways of protecting drivers and passengers when travelling in a vehicle.
- Drivers must ensure everyone in the car is wearing a seatbelt, and children are wearing seatbelts or in seating appropriate for their age.
A number of other safety actions that can be taken by motorists whilst driving in adverse weather conditions:
- Be alert at all times, pay attention to road warning signs that display hazardous conditions
- Drive with headlights on at times of poor visibility
- Ensure your windscreen is clean and is demisted, and wiper blades are in good condition
- Ensure your vehicle is roadworthy and the tyres are in good condition and are correctly inflated, and
- Leave plenty of space between your vehicle and the vehicle ahead of you.
Detective Inspector Rob Badenoch