Life and Style

College 101: Common Road Hazards and How to Avoid Them

Whether you’re driving through Sydney or sightseeing in the outback, the road ahead can be more treacherous than you think. The roads in Australia are extensive and expansive in order to get from one place to another, so there are many opportunities for accidents to happen. From wildlife to soft edges, there are a lot of situations that could potentially bring danger to you and your passengers. However, if you know the best way to handle these circumstances, you can come out of any sticky situation unscathed. Here’s a list of common road hazards and how to avoid them. 

Get it all covered. 

First things first, before you even get behind the wheel of your car, you should make sure you’re insured. If anything less than ideal were to happen to your vehicle, you don’t want to end up paying completely out of pocket. If you’re uninsured you could not only have to pay for all the damages but also other people’s damaged property depending on the accident and who's legally at fault.

You may have been avoiding purchasing insurance, because picking a comprehensive car insurance plan may appear daunting. How do you know you’re getting the best deal possible? Will the one you picked cover all of your most likely needs? Now, it’s easy to compare comprehensive car insurance with iSelect

Most comprehensive car insurances cover collisions, accidental damage, weather damage, theft, vandalism, and third party property damage. However, some insurance can provide a hire car or offer new car replacement for the first two years depending on the situation. Some policies protect the important contents of your car, like children’s car seats. Others can give you reduced excess or no excess on broken windows. It’s also important to take into consideration if the policy you pick allows you to choose between agreed value and market value for your car if it’s been too damaged to repair, or if it gets stolen. 

If you tried to make all of these comparisons on your own by going to individual websites, it would admittedly take you a long time. Thankfully, iSelect puts it all in one place, making it easier to make these important comparisons and ultimately helping you decide what’s going to work best for you and your family. 

Watch out for verges and edges. 

Verges and soft edges can pose a serious problem if not handled correctly. If you find that your car has hit a verge or soft edge, it’s best not to swerve, because that could cause you to lose control. Soft edges could give way underneath your tires causing you to lose control of your vehicle and wind up in a ditch. Hitting the brakes and pulling back on the wheel should help you get through this kind of situation without veering into traffic or any other obstacle on the road. It’s best if you slow down and go no faster than 80 km/hr if you think you might run into this problem. 

Your furry friends don't know the rules of the road. 

Australia is home to an abundance of wildlife that doesn’t necessarily heed the rules of the road—this includes small children at play. Again, paying close attention to speed limits and signs will be a huge help in some of these circumstances. If you do come into contact with a “critter,” like a kangaroo, put on the breaks, flash your lights, and honk your horn. Stay alert, particularly at dusk as more animals are out and the waning light diminishes your eyesight. Keeping your brights on can be useful in spotting wildlife ahead on the road. 

Find a reliable mechanic. 

Make sure your car is in check before anything goes wrong with it in the first place. Keeping healthy, routine maintenance up with your car is one of the best gifts you can give yourself. Finding a mechanic you trust with the proper automotive and diesel certifications they need will help keep your car in top shape year-round.

“Rain, rain go away.”

According to the Bureau of Meteorology, Australia’s rainfall has diminished considerably over the years. As a result, oil can easily build up on roads. When the rain finally does fall, this can create a slick and dangerous situation. Keep your speed low and have your tires regularly checked, so that the tread is ready for this kind of road condition. 

Stay alert. 

The biggest, most preventable hazard is driving while fatigued. The Centre for Sleep Research says that being awake for seventeen hours is like driving with a blood alcohol of 0.05, which is the legal limit. Rest up, break your drive into manageable chunks, and stay alert.

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