RAC is urging drivers to be patient this Christmas season, with new data revealing a huge spike in new caravanners taking to our roads.
According to RAC data, new insurance policies for caravans have increased 50 per cent in the last six months compared to the same time last year — in June alone, caravan policies were up 85 per cent.
RAC Communications Manager Rhys Heron said drivers need to be mindful there will be more caravans on the road this Christmas, particularly as Western Australians continue to holiday at home.
“The summer break is always a popular time for families to hit the road for a caravanning or camping holiday, but we should expect our roads to be even busier this year,” Mr Heron said.
“Our data shows a big increase in Western Australians taking out caravan insurance, meaning there will be more caravans on our regional roads, with some drivers towing them for the very first time.
“Many will also be travelling on unfamiliar roads and for long distances.
“Vehicles towing a caravan can’t travel as fast as other cars and need to allow extra space for turning and braking, in case they have to stop suddenly.
“Regional WA is home to some of the most beautiful places in the country but it’s also consistently overrepresented by road fatalities and serious injuries, making our regional roads some of the most dangerous.
“It’s been a tough year already — let’s be patient, slow down and share our roads so we can all enjoy a safe and happy holiday.”
RAC’s Safe Travels initiative continues to offer free caravan safety training sessions across Perth and regional WA, as well as free car safety checks, to help Western Australians explore our great State safely.
“We’ve been overwhelmed by the popularity of our free caravan safety training course, with our sessions usually booked months in advance,” Mr Heron said.
“Since launching in June, more than 870 people have completed the training, which helps caravanners to prepare for a safe journey and stay safe while they’re on the road.”
For more information about our Safe Travels initiative, or to book your spot in a free caravan safety training session, please visit our website.
Before you leave:
- Service your tow vehicle and check your oil, radiator, suspension, tyre pressure and lights
- Clean your windows and mirrors, and fill your windscreen washer bottle
- Distribute weight evenly in your caravan — start by packing the heavy items first, low to the ground and ensure all items are securely fastened down
- Don’t overload — find out what your vehicle and towbar are capable of towing and do not exceed the towing capacity
- Double check to ensure your caravan is hitched correctly
- Plan your route so you know where you’re going and check for rest stops and petrol stations along the way
- Charge your phone and put it somewhere out of reach
On the road:
- Scan ahead as far as you can to identify hazards early and adjust your driving
- Allow extra distance for braking and leave at least 200m between your vehicle and other caravans on the road
- Drive to the conditions and do not exceed 100km/hr
- Challenge the need to overtake other drivers — if you’re behind a vehicle travelling at 90km/hr, you will need at least 1km of clear road in front of you to overtake them (as to not exceed the speed limit of 100km/hr)
- Allow extra space when turning corners
- If you need to stop in a hurry, always brake in a straight line
- Take regular breaks and stop for basic vehicle checks every 100kms
- Check your mirrors regularly to ensure you’re aware of what is happening behind you
- Stay alert for wildlife
- Be patient and enjoy the drive
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