We know how daunting it can be driving in a foreign country for the first time. You are driving a vehicle that’s not your own, the roads are unknown, there are different rules, and you might even be driving on the opposite side of the road. That shouldn’t deter you from having an amazing adventure, but your safety should always come first. Here are some of our expert tips to keep you safe on your next Australian road trip.
To drive in Australia, you are required to have a valid licence and carry it at all time while you are driving. Travellers Autobarn hires to anyone between the ages of 18 and 74 with a valid driver’s licence. If your driver’s licence is not written in English, you will need to ensure you have a valid International Driver’s licence or a certified translation of your home country licence.
In Australia, you should always drive on the left-hand side of the road. If you are not used to this, try practising driving around quiet streets before heading onto busier motorways. Speed limits, the use of seatbelts, and other regulations are strictly enforced in Australia, and failing to follow these can lead to severe punishments. It is always a good idea to familiarise yourself with Australia’s road rules and common street signs before setting off on your trip. The more you understand, the safer and more confident you will be on your road trip.
Australia is a huge country with only a few cities, so on your road trip, you will most likely travel through some remote areas. Driving in the outback or rural Australia requires having awareness of different road conditions and scenarios. For your own safety, you should never risk driving on dirt or unsealed roads, as this is where there is the biggest possibility for rollover accidents or damage to the vehicle. Driving at night, and particularly at dusk and dawn, can be extremely hazardous in Australia, as this is when the most wildlife will be out. Never attempt to swerve your vehicle to avoid an animal, as this is likely to risk rolling the vehicle.
When driving long distances, it is extremely important to take regular breaks to rest. Make sure you plan your trip well to include several rest stops. There are rest areas located roughly every 100kms along main highways so that you can stop and take a break from driving. As we say in Australia – stop, revive, survive!
You should never drink alcohol or be under the influence of alcohol or drugs while driving. In Australia, there are very strict regulations regarding this. Even if you feel okay to drive, it is never a safe thing to do and punishments are very severe.
The use of mobile phones or other portable electronic devices while driving in Australia is strictly prohibited. You must not talk on the phone, send a text message, or even touch your phone while you are being the wheel. Doing so can lead to heavy fines and losing the ability to drive in Australia.
Australia is a land of many extreme weather conditions, which at times are very unpredictable. Cyclones, bushfires, heavy storms, and flooding are common in certain locations and certain times of the year. Always check local weather conditions before heading off on your journey and avoid driving during extreme weather conditions.
If you do get in an accident or breakdown while on the road, you are not on your own. Our staff are here to assist you to get back on the road, and we have 24-hour roadside assistance included in all our rentals. Please do not hesitate to call our customer care team on 1800 674 374 if you have any issues while on the road. The emergency services number for police, ambulance, and fire brigade in Australia is 000.
Should you have any further concerns, you can ask our friendly staff for more advice when you pick up your vehicle from Travellers Autobarn. The better the plan, the safer and more memorable your Aussie road trip will be.