You have been dreaming about this for the past couple of weeks (or months) but it’s finally happening. All those late nights studying were worth it because you’re in the car and on your way to leavers!

You want to have a great time, but it’s important you and your friends get there safely. Drink and drug driving, speeding, fatigue and distraction are some of the biggest causes of crashes on our roads, so it’s a good idea to avoid them entirely.

There are a few things to remember when you’re driving down south, so use this checklist as pre-trip prep to get you from home to leavers, and back again, safely.

1. Take a break

If you’re hungry, tired, sore, need to make a call or just need a break, it’s always better to pull over or share the driving with a friend. Get plenty of sleep the night before, take regular breaks and if you feel tired – don’t drive.

2. Obey the laws

Road rules are in place for a reason. Things like speeding, using a mobile phone or not wearing a seatbelt are not only illegal; they’re extremely risky driving behaviours which could lead to a serious injury or worse. The road trip is half the fun, so take your time, keep your eyes on the road and enjoy it.

3. Country roads differ from city roads

If the road surface is rocky and loose it takes longer for your car to come to a stop. You can also lose control easier around bends. Dirt roads can also become dangerously slippery when wet, so it’s important to take extra care and slow down.

4. Watch out for wildlife

Hitting an animal becomes a higher possibility at dusk or night time. If you spot an animal in your path, slow down, flash your lights and honk your horn. Don’t swerve – it’s a recipe for rolling your car.

Kangaroo signpost 

5. Don’t speed

While the maximum speed limit on an open country road is 110km/h, that doesn’t mean you have to go that fast. Drive to the conditions, switch on your headlights and don’t drive directly into the sun. Drive at your own pace, it’s better to get there late than not at all.

6. Passengers can be distracting

If you can, try having fewer passengers in your car. Stick with one passenger your age. The same goes if you’re a passenger; don’t distract the driver. You all want to get to the same destination and it is the drivers’ responsibility to do that safely.