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Singaporean drivers Top 5 hidden hazards of driving in Australia
The wide open roads of Australia may appear easy compared to negotiating the crazy congestion of Singapore. But when you pick up your hire car in Australia you will face very different challenges. And yes, kangaroos and wombats are included!
The trusty travel team at Budget Direct Insurance advises on the top five hidden hazards of driving in Australia, and how to navigate them.
Hazard #1 – Dirt roads
Road conditions vary. Watch out for gravel and dirt on country roads and avoid getting your wheels caught. Slow down. Avoid driving on dirt roads at night as it can be like motoring on a road surface of ball bearings. Not good.
Resist swerving when avoiding a pothole or animal. The loss of control could send you careering into a ditch or rolling.
Always keep a firm and steady hand on the steering wheel.
A gravel road means slower braking time, watch out on the bends too.
Hazard #2 – Rain After a Long Dry Spell
Rain doesn’t seem very intimidating especially to Singaporean drivers. But rain on the roads after a long period of dry is a hidden hazard in Australia.
During dry spells road surfaces accumulate grease, grime and oil, which gets baked onto the surface by the harsh sun. When the rain falls, these can create a slimy, slippery surface that’s like driving on black ice. It’s invisible so if you’re driving too fast, you may find your car skating across the road with little to no traction.
Be aware and slow down.
Hazard #3 – Wildlife and Kangaroos
Two of the worst danger times for hitting animals and wildlife are at dawn and dusk. Aniamls are on the move at these times and the light is low, making them harder to see.
Drive slower than you normally would and if there are no approaching vehicles, keep your lights on high beam. It is always best to avoid swerving – because that will place you in danger of other risks. If an animal suddenly appears on the road, put on the brakes, sound your horn and flash the lights. Be aware that the animal may ‘freeze’ in your lights rather than move, slow down and anticipate the road ahead.
Hazard #4 – Flooded Roads
If it’s flooded, forget it! Your vehicle can quickly be swept away by flooded roads so avoid them at all costs. When in doubt, don’t attempt to cross a flooded road or causeway. Instead, take the long way around or avoid driving altogether.
More advice on driving in flash floods here.
Hazard #5 – Driver Fatigue
Driver fatigue increases the risk of crashing your car by up to a third. If you’ve been flying over night from Singapore to Australia then think twice about jumping straight into a hire car.
Be aware of how long you have been awake and driving. Drink water, take a brisk walk and refresh. Australia has many driver reviver stops along its roadways — many offer free coffee and biscuits.