While Santa’s magic sleigh gets him around the world in one night, the rest of us should slow down and take regular rest breaks according to the Chief Executive of the Australian Trucking Association, Stuart St Clair.
“With excited kids and the annual family get-together, the festive season can make you feel pressured to speed to your destination and push on when you are tired,” Mr St Clair said. “But Santa has a magic sleigh and a reindeer with a nose so bright to clear the way. You don’t.
“There is no excuse for speeding. It’s better to stick to the speed limit and be late for Christmas lunch, than to rush towards a tragedy.”
Mr St Clair asked truck drivers to be considerate of the extra holiday traffic.
“We all know the roads are busy this time of year. Trucking businesses and drivers need to account for holiday traffic in their schedules,” Mr St Clair said.
“Holiday motorists may not be familiar with the roads, or may be driving for longer hours than they’re used to. Be patient, give them some space and share the road safely.”
Mr St Clair said there were a few tips that motorists could follow to make their holiday trip safer:
- Stick to the speed limit. In a 110km/h area, the risk of having a serious crash doubles with each 10km/h you travel over the speed limit.
- Don’t drive when you’re tired. Even if you’ve had plenty of sleep the night before, a big family Christmas celebration can make it hard to focus on the drive back home. Have a nap or share the driving with someone else.
- Don’t cut in front of trucks as they slow for traffic lights or when you’re out on the highway. A truck needs a greater distance to stop than you expect, because they are much heavier than cars.
- Don’t overtake trucks when they are turning. Trucks often need to turn from the centre lane at intersections and corners, so stay well back. Remember, if you can’t see the truck driver’s side mirrors, the truck driver can’t see you.
- Truck drivers should make sure they stay well back from the car in front, and give themselves plenty of room to react to changes on the road.
Motorists can download the ATA’s full list of truckies top tips, as well as animated road safety videos, at www.safetytruck.com.au.