Caravan Industry Association of Australia reminds travellers of life saving safety measures for Rural Road Safety Month

An aerial of Caravans and cars camping on Perlubie Beach, Streaky Bay, South Australia
Edited by Travel Weekly

    The Caravan Industry Association of Australia has reinforced the message of the Australian Road Safety Foundation (ARSF) surrounding safe practices for road users. 

    September is Rural Road Safety Month and with over 90 per cent of camping trips regional the messaging is relevant to many holidaymakers. 

    During Rural Road Safety Month, the caravan industry will amplify the Rural Road Safety Month message while also delivering its own safety messages daily to its RV and camping audiences. 

    Messaging will include pre-planning, understanding your RV setup including towing and your caravan weights, fatigue management and reminding people to be patient.

    With two in three road deaths occurring on regional roads, new research from the Australian Road Safety Foundation (ARSF) has detailed why all Australians have a personal responsibility to take greater action.

    September is also a peak family camping holiday period as kids enjoy their Spring midterm break and we know for similar holiday periods that 71 per cent of campers will travel over 250 km from their home and stay away an average of 4.8 nights.

    “All road users have a responsibility to road safety when using our roads,’ GM government relations, Caravan Industry Association Australia, Luke Chippendale, said. 

    “We encourage our camping families these school holidays to be patient and not rush.

    “Planning starts before the key is turned, get your car and RV serviced, take a refresher towing course if needed and plan your trip.

    “Plan your trip before you leave, how far you intend to travel each day, plan your rest and fatigue management stops and book your accommodation in advance.”

    ARSF advise that the most concerning piece of research was the number of respondents who admitted to unpreparedness and bad behaviour when driving in rural areas, a lethal combination.

    Stuart Lamont, CEO of Caravan Industry Association of Australia reminded travellers that safe behaviours are the greatest prevention of accidents.

    “Research demonstrates that speeding, inattention and driving tired are the leading causes to accidents on regional roads,” Lamont, said. 

    “Putting the phone away, planning your trip, with rest stops and being well rested is key.

    “Travellers might be tired from an early start from home, maybe tired after a big camping trip and focussed on just getting home.

    “We urge travellers to once again stop for a minute and make sure you have planned your trip, make sure you are rested and don’t rush. The roads will be busy as other campers return home.” 

    Coexisting with other road users, in particular, heavy vehicles, is an important part of motoring, using a UHF with your channel displayed clearly on the back of your van facilitates good communication for overtaking or reporting hazards to oncoming vehicles.

    When traversing rural roads with long distances between towns, it is important to have a good night’s sleep and, take appropriate rest breaks (15 minutes every 2 hours) this heightens your alertness to hazards rural roads can cause you to encounter. 

    Hazards can include narrow sealed or unsealed roads with soft shoulders or loose gravel causing less traction. Roaming livestock and wildlife portray a different hazard and, can cause serious damage should a collision with a large animal occur.

    Mechanical items such as spare bearings, seals and grease are appropriate tools to carry out some basic repairs to keep you on the road.

    Before planning your trip, consider a towing education course and, or a first aid course as well as knowing how to use your communication devices appropriately. It is also important to carry ample water in case of a break down allowing 5 – 7 litres per person per day and have a basic first aid kit is important to add to your equipment. Help may be minutes, hours, or, days away. Be prepared.

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