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Plan Your Trip: Road Safety

Mornington Peninsula, Geelong and the Bellarine, Great Ocean Road, Phillip Island

While you’re out exploring these places rich with nature, cool foodie spots, and quirky boutiques and breweries, just remember: let’s keep the road as fun as the destination.

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KEEP LEFT, EVERY TIME YOU DRIVE

In Australia, we do things a bit differently when it comes to driving. Here, we cruise on the left side of the road, which might be a switcheroo if you’re used to the right. No worries, though! Just give your buddies a nudge to keep reminding you to stay on the left side as you hit the road or make those turns at intersections.

ALLOW EXTRA TIME

When you’re traveling on the roads of Victoria, it’s a good idea to play it cool and allow some extra time – the journey might stretch out more than you think. See, some of these roads can be a bit twisty and turny, and sometimes narrow, so it’s a smart move to plan ahead. Map out your trip, and make sure you’ve got a buffer for unexpected delays. Don’t forget to include some pit stops along the way, because, let’s face it, you’ll want to take in the sights, stop for a snack and enjoy the ride.

TAKE REGULAR BREAKS

When you’re gearing up for a long drive, it’s all about setting yourself up for success. First things first, catch some Z’s the night before – especially if you’ve just hopped off a long flight to Australia. And hey, if you’ve got some travel buddies, take turns behind the wheel! it’s all about team effort. Remember to schedule pit stops every couple of hours, step out of the car, and give those legs a good stretch. A well-rested, cooperative, and limber road-trip crew ensures a smoother, more enjoyable journey, and hey! you might just uncover a favourite stop along the road. For places to pause and any tips, check out PauseStop by TAC.

BUCKLE UP THOSE SEATBELTS

Here’s the deal – when you’re rolling in a vehicle down under, strapping on your seatbelt isn’t just a suggestion; it’s the law, mate! And if you’ve got kiddos under the age of seven, they’ve got to be snug as a bug in a proper child restraint. No worries if you didn’t pack one, though. Your rental car company’s got your back and can hook you up with child restraints, so you can cruise legally and safely.

DRIVE WITHIN THE LIMITS AND TO THE CONDITIONS

Here in Victoria, we’ve got a mix of road speeds, and you can bet your boots that speed limits are no joke. Plus, our weather can be a bit moody, swinging through all four seasons in a single day. That means road conditions can change in a flash. Stick to the speed limits, and make sure you’re driving at a safe speed for whatever’s happening out there. Keep an eye on current traffic conditions, and stay safe. Check out VicRoads for up to date traffic conditions for where you’re heading.

YOUR SPEED AFFECTS OTHERS

When you’re taking it easy on the road, here’s the golden rule: if you’re going slow, find a safe spot to pull over and let the traffic behind pass by. If you’re behind the wheel of a camper-van, motorhome, or towing a caravan and you’ve got a little traffic tailgating you, be a champ and pull over at your earliest, safest opportunity. Make good use of those passing lanes or slow vehicle turnouts whenever they pop up. Oh, and never ever cross that solid white line on your side of the center line.

LOOK OUT FOR ANIMALS

Keep those eyes peeled, especially when you’re on the quiet country roads during the golden hours of sunset and sunrise. Our furry and feathered friends sometimes like to surprise us by wandering onto the road. Drive with extra caution to keep them and yourself safe.

KEEP YOUR HEADLIGHTS ON

Rain, hail or shine keep those lights on – it helps you stand out and be more visible to other drivers, which is always a good call for safety on the road.

AVOID DISTRACTIONS. NO MOBILE PHONES

It’s a no-go to use your handheld mobile phone while driving. The law’s pretty clear on that one. If you’ve got a call or text that just can’t wait, do the smart thing and pull over at a rest area or another safe spot.

DON'T DRIVE IMPAIRED BY DRUGS OR ALCOHOL

Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is a recipe for disaster. Here in Victoria, we don’t mess around with this stuff. If you’re caught doing it, you’re in for some serious penalties. Just to lay it out there, the blood alcohol concentration limit for a fully licensed driver is 0.05%. But here’s the deal – you can’t get behind the wheel if you’re affected by any drug. So, stay safe, stay sober, and keep the roads safe for everyone.

CHOOSE THE SAFEST VEHICLE

When it comes to renting or buying a vehicle, here’s a tip: go for the safest one you can reasonably afford. Safety first, right? It’s an investment in your well-being on the road.

GET TO KNOW THE ROAD RULES, SIGNS AND MARKINGS BEFORE YOU DRIVE

Before you hit the road, it’s crucial to get the lowdown on our driving rules. Keep your eyes on those road signs and markings; they’re like your trusty guides. They signal potential hazards, provide vital info, and spell out the rules and road conditions. And when you see a stop sign, you’ve got to come to a complete halt and yield to all traffic.

If you break the road rules or cause an accident, you could be fined or prosecuted. And if you’re cruising on a motorcycle or motor scooter, here’s the scoop: wear an approved helmet and have a valid motorcycle permit or license. It’s the law! Plus, if you plan to drive here in Victoria, make sure you’ve got a current, valid driving license from your home country, and keep it handy all times when you’re on the road.