If you’re the driver on your road trip, read the following tips and advice.
The night before you leave
- Avoid alcohol
- Eat properly but not too heavily
- Get plenty of sleep
- Don’t leave too early in the morning
Avoid drinking and driving
Where possible, err on the side of caution and avoid drinking and driving.
If you do consume alcohol prior to driving, it’s your responsibility to ensure your Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) remains well within legal limits. These limits may vary from state to state, so familiarise yourself with local laws.
In Queensland, the standards as outlined by police and transport authorities are that men can consume up to two standard drinks in the first hour and one standard drink each hour after that to stay below the legal 0.05 percent BAC. Women can generally consume no more than one standard drink in the first and subsequent hours to stay below the legal limit.
The following drivers must have a BAC of zero:
- Learner drivers
- Drivers on a provisional licence who are under 25
- Bus, truck and taxi drivers
A standard drink is:
- Five pots (285 ml) of superlight beer (0.9% alcohol)
- Two pots (285 ml) of light beer (2-3% alcohol)
- One pot (285 ml) of full strength beer (4-5% alcohol)
- One 30 ml nip of spirits (37% alcohol)
- One 120ml glass of wine (12% alcohol)
- One 60ml glass of fortified wine (18% alcohol)
Driver fatigue kills
Driver fatigue is a proven killer on Queensland highways. When you’ve got a big trip ahead, it’s important to plan for 15-minute breaks every two hours – to rest and revive.
During major holiday periods, take advantage of the extensive Driver Reviver network that operates around Australia, where you can get free tea or coffee. In other times, take a thermos of hot water and make yourself a cuppa at a rest area.
Try to avoid setting off in the early hours of the morning, as your body still expects to be sleeping.
Part of good driving is recognising that driver fatigue can affect your performance behind the wheel well before you actually feel tired. Signs of fatigue include:
- Yawning, heavy eyes or sweaty hands
- Droning or humming in the ears
- Daydreaming or loss of concentration
- The vehicle wandering on the road
- Unintentional changes in vehicle speed
- Pressure in the head or temples
- Stiffness or cramps
If you feel these symptoms of driver fatigue, pull over where it is safe to do so, lock the doors and sleep until you are refreshed.