Safety While on Break
It’s the end of the year and time for some fun and relaxation, celebrations and trips away with friends and/or family. BUT they don’t call it the Silly Season for no reason. People are tired, impatient and preoccupied with those last minute ‘to-do’ items, this year even more so after having dealt with COVID-19 and many uncertainties throughout the year.
Add the brutal Australian Summer heat on top of the year we have all had and travelling the roads at this time of year can be one of the most dangerous times to be out and about, even with the presence of RBT’s doing drug and alcohol testing, not to mention double demerits.
A vital aspect that many travellers and holiday goers may not think about is the proper maintenance of your car, especially during our unpredictable fire season. Ensuring that you check tyres, oil and water before doing long haul trips will prevent any unwanted breakdowns or side of the highway tyre changes.
When travelling during your break, try to be mindful of the following points and do your part to ensure our roads are a safe place to be. Doing so will ensure that everyone will be in good spirits and health when (eventually) arriving to the holiday destination.
- REST: Make sure you are rested before driving, it is not only drug and alcohol that are big killers on our roads, but fatigue, tiredness and micro sleeps.
- PLAN YOUR TRIP: Can you avoid peak hour times? Peak traffic hours are notorious for increasing stress, frustration and depleting a driver's patience.
- PACK SNACKS: Staying safe in the car also includes taking snacks and plenty of water in case of traffic jams or road closures due to the fires.
- TAKE REGULAR BREAKS: If travelling long distance, ensure you stop every 2hrs at a minimum to stretch your legs and aid focus.
- Most importantly, DON’T RUSH. Taking your time saves lives. Like the old television ads use to say ‘it’s better to be late, than never make it at all’
Sun safety is something we all know about and it is key to staying protected from the harsh Australian sun. With temperatures ranging between 30⁰- 40⁰C during the harshest days means that following the Slip, Slop, Slap, Seek, and Slide practice is essential.
For those not familiar:
- Slip on a shirt
- Slop on sunscreen
- Slap on a hat
- Seek shade
- Slide on sunglasses
Additionally, staying hydrated and drinking more water when you spend more time outside will help prevent sun illness like sun stroke.
Don’t forget your pet’s! Remember, they feel the heat too.
Australia being surrounded by water means that there is a high chance that you will go swimming in any body of water during the summer. Water safety is essential during this period.
Our waterways can be unpredictable and sadly the number of drownings during the holiday period increase dramatically in comparison to other times of the year. Here are some importance guidelines to remember:
- Always swim between the red and yellow flags on beaches with lifeguards and surf lifesavers.
- Look for the beach signs at the entrance to the beach, they have lots of local information and will explain to you the meaning of the signs placed on the beach.
- Never swim alone, always with a friend.
- Never swim under the influence of alcohol or after a big meal.
- Always check the depth of water before diving in, diving in to shallow water can cause a spinal injury.
- Check for currents by throwing a twig or leaf into the water to see the speed it travels
- Check the depth of the water and look for submerged objects by using a stick
- Enter water slowly and feet first
- Don’t jump or dive into the water
- Take care of slippery or uneven surfaces around or in the water
- If you are caught in a current, float on your back feet first, and go with the current. Don’t panic.
- Never swim alone
- Avoid drugs and alcohol around water
- Wear a lifejacket
- Actively supervise children around water.
- When on a farm or rural area, create a child safe area to isolate children from water sources
- Let someone know where you’re going and when you’ll be back, and take a phone with you.