The holidays can be a stressful time, especially if you have to travel.
Before you get on the road, read our guide on arriving safely and stress-free.
When the school holidays roll around, or even just the long weekend, everyone has the same idea to jump in the car and get out of town. We took a look at ways to maximise your chances of getting to where you’re going safely and without incident.
Motion sickness is no fun for the person who’s travelling and the passengers who have to share the car probably won’t be thrilled either.
The science behind is commonly credited to the inner ear not being ready for the movement of the car (or boat, plane etc), which then plays havoc with the rest of your body (making you dizzy, nauseous etc.)
Kids are the most commonly affected by travel sickness, which can be frustrating because one of the easiest ways to relieve carsickness is to be seated in the front seat (driver’s often fare the best) – whether this is because of the more controlled motion of the car or the increased visibility from the front is up for debate though.
If your child, or any passenger, can’t sit up front, there are always alternative remedies that are sworn by.
Travel sickness tablets are always available at the pharmacy, but can come with unwanted side effects like dizziness and often make you drowsy, which isn’t always an ideal start to arrive groggy at the start of your holidays. There are also natural remedies that feature ingredients like ginger and peppermint, but their effectiveness between people varies, and there’s no one, fool proof method that people can agree works all the time.
Pets can be affected by motion sickness too and, like young kids, they likely won’t tell you when they’re about to be sick. To prevent the four-legged friends from ruining the backseat or the boot, you can always put down a tarp or some towels for them to lie on, but there are things you can do to prevent the risk of having to clean up the back of the car. Before you go, try not to feed them immediately before the trip, give them a few hours to digest any food and keep them on a diet of small, dry treats while you’re travelling.
In Queensland, it’s not mandatory to restrain your pet in the car (unless it’s in the tray of a ute) – but it is safer for them and for you. If you do harness or cage your animal, try to have them face forwards or give them toys to be distracted on the trip.
Travelling, some drivers can miss the most obvious things on the road, especially if they’re driving tired or stressed (or too relaxed!)
During the day, you can turn your headlights on to improve your visibility to other cars – who might be distracted on the way back from their own holiday.
When it starts to rain, it’s difficult enough to see before on-coming cars’ headlights and road signs start reflecting glare while you’re trying to concentrate on driving.
One solution that you might not think of is to pop on your sunglasses. Polarized sunglasses can cut down the harshness of the reflective glare that flares out from oncoming headlights and the help you to see road signs better.
Regular sunglasses won’t be as effective (and might just darken the road even further), so make sure you have good quality polarized sunglasses designed for sports (especially something with high glare, like skiing) – which will help to cut down glare and distract you less on the road.
To improve your visibility on the road, make sure you turn your lights on in poor weather (like fog and rain), making sure not to use your high beams within 200 metres of an approaching car or car in the same lane.
If you’ve got the whole family along, it can get crowded with everyone’s luggage in the back.
When you’re loading gear into your car, make sure to put heavy items, as far towards the front and close to the floor as possible, in case of an accident or other heavy braking, they don’t fly forward through the cabin.
To secure your cargo, you can invest in a cargo barrier, or just some tie down or bungee straps to keep your luggage from moving around so much. Another option is to move your luggage to the roof in a pod or tray, although this can affect your handling by making the car taller and less aerodynamic – something to consider, especially if you decide to head off road for your holidays.
Speaking of off road holidays, there’s a whole other set of gear to pack if you plan on taking your 4WD out of town, even if it’s just for a weekend.
Research shows that accidents are more likely to occur in the last 50km before you reach your destination, because drivers start to get a little too relaxed. Driver Reviver stations dotted along major roads across the country give you a chance to stop, stretch your legs and take a break after hours of uninteresting driving.
It gives you a chance to refresh and stay alert, especially when you know you’re not far from getting to your destination so you can attack the last stretch of road with fresh eyes
And your car will be ready to tackle the open road after a service from Motorama’s expert technicians, so don’t forget to book yours before you set off!
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