Driving Guide for Long Holiday Road Trips

Holiday Road trip

  • How Safe is Your Car? Check your vehicle
    Confidence for any long drive starts by ensuring your car is ready.  Key areas to check yourself are tyres, levels of engine oil, coolant and windscreen-washer fluid.
  • Plan Ahead
    Planning is key to a safe and relaxed holiday journey. Before hitting the road:
    • Plan your route and work out how long it will take to reach your destination
    • Look for towns you can take rest stops at
    • Swap drivers every 2 hours if possible
    • Make sure you’ve had at least 7-8 hours sleep before driving
    • Avoid driving at times you would normally be asleep
    • Always pull over and power nap as soon you feel tired or fatigued
  • Rethink your speed
    Holiday road trips often see you travelling on unfamiliar roads, in variable conditions and many will be towing a caravan or boat. With a lot of traffic on the roads, you may need to allow extra time to get there. Remember to stay within the speed limit and always choose an appropriate speed for the conditions.
  • No distractions
    With so much traffic on the roads, even a minor distraction can turn deadly in the event of something unexpected. Come up with strategies to avoid distraction, like putting your phone in the glovebox and ensuring young passengers have plenty to keep them occupied.
  • Drinking and driving – they’re better apart
    An easy one to achieve – even small amounts of alcohol can inhibit your driving ability so avoid it altogether while on the move. Driving the morning after drinking can also have serious consequences so a quiet night and good night’s sleep before departure is always a great idea.
  • Pack safely
    Always ensure luggage, equipment, toys, etc that are inside the car are secured - this will ensure you're safe in the event of event of emergency braking or accidents.  Luggage, equipment and even pets can become projectiles in the case of sudden braking.
  • Wildlife
    Driving on country roads in Australia can come with the risk of colliding with wildlife such as kangaroos and wombats.  These animals are especially active at dawn and dusk - consider reducing your vehicle speed during these times.

A message from Royal Melbourne Hospital staff