The Australian Outback is one of the most spectacular sights in a country already rich with them. Furthermore, it can be accessed by you and your family simply riding together in your family vehicle (or a rental, if you’re a tourist). However, the Outback can be merciless to those who are unprepared, and by the time you run into trouble, it might be too late to correct those problems.
Here are five tips to help you have fun with your family while remaining safe driving through the Outback:
- Be careful of road conditions while you are driving with your family through the Outback. Dirt roads are neither as safe nor as stable as roads paved with asphalt. Even seemingly safe roads can contain hazards such as potholes and crumbling edges that can send your vehicle spinning out of control if you are unfortunate enough to hit one. You should always pay attention to the road while driving and drive slowly so that you have more time to react to unexpected occurrences.
- You must remain alert for any animals attempting to cross while your vehicle is travelling on the road. Vehicle collisions with animals are one of the most common causes of accidents while driving through the Outback, with consequences ranging from minor damage to your vehicle to the risk of serious injury or even death for both you and your family. Wild animals are not the only animals that might be using the roads, herds of cattle and flocks of sheep are also common pedestrians on the roads.
- Be prepared for the conditions of the Outback, and be ready in case of emergency. Bring at least one gallon of water for each person in your vehicle for each day that you are planning to travel through the Outback. Similarly, make sure that your vehicle is in perfect working condition and can handle rough driving conditions. Bring spare tires, spare parts, and a tool kit for your vehicle. Make sure that you check local driving conditions each time you head out and tell someone about your travel plans in case you run into trouble.
- Driving can be a dangerous activity if you are driving on unfamiliar terrain and under less than optimal driving conditions. Fatigue is a particularly bad aggravating factor that can cause lapses in your judgement with potentially disastrous consequences for both you and your family. Avoiding this problem is simple so long as you make a habit of taking regular breaks along the way. Not only will doing so let you remain at the height of your awareness, but it will also give you and your family the chance to see the local sights. Simply speeding straight through the Outback will only result in you and your family being deprived of the chance to sample its sights.
- Don’t forget to remain considerate of your fellows while out on the road. This can encompass a range of activities, but one example is turning on your headlights so that fellow drivers can see your vehicle better through the dust clouds. Similarly, if you chance upon any gates in the course of your travel, make sure to leave them in the condition that you found them. For example, if you have to open the gate to let your vehicle through, make sure to close it once you are through instead of leaving it open for animals to wander through.
About the Author
Taylor Ritchie contributed this guest post in partnership with Australia’s National Roads and Motorists Association. Taylor is a freelance auto writer. She enjoys writing articles for motoring blogs where she shares her insights and tips.