Driving in New Zealand
Safe Driving Tips on NZ Roads from your Kinky Team
How Fast are you Going?
Speeding is the biggest contributing factor to fatalities on the road! Speed limits are in place for a reason and you should always drive at the speed limit and not over it. You should also adjust your speed depending on the weather (wet roads are dangerous) and the conditions of the road. Remember, it is far better to get to your destination an hour late than not at all!
Alcohol and the Road
Alcohol and driving mixed together is the recipe for the Cocktail of Death. You should never put yourself and your passengers at risk by drinking and driving. New drivers or ‘P-Platers’ must be under the alcohol/blood limit of 0.02 whereas fully qualified drivers must be under the limit of 0.05. Remember, you can still be under the influence of alcohol or drugs the next morning so maybe carry a portable breath tester with you on your roadtrip. At Wicked, we advise that you do not drink at all immediately prior to driving!
Wearing your seat belt at all times whilst driving can help save your life and the lives of your passengers who you are responsible for whilst behind the wheel. On average, 4% of people fail to wear a seat belt while driving and approximately 22% of car occupants are killed each year by not wearing a seat belt at the time of an accident. It's such a simple thing to do and will probably save your life.
Country and outback driving causes for drivers to be patient and alert. Road surfaces can change without warning and there may be wildlife on the road just around the corner. DO NOT SWERVE FOR ANIMALS, or you will crash, probably roll your van and endanger your life, your passenger’s lives and the lives of other road users!! If you decide to overtake another vehicle but you are not in a designated overtaking lane then you have to be absolutely certain that it is safe to do so. Right hand lanes on highways are for overtaking only and it is an offense to stay in the right-hand lane unless you are overtaking.
Becoming tired on a long trip is not uncommon and we suggest that you take a 15 minute break every 2 hours. Feeling tired decreases all aspects of your judgment. Signs of tiredness include: drowsiness, yawning, slower reactions, microsleeps, missing road signs, sore or tired eyes, a lack of concentration, feeling irritable and restless and having difficulty staying in your lane. Most fatigue related accidents occur on country roads during long journeys so make sure you rest up the night before and rest regularly.
Wicked Campers forbids the driving of vans at dusk or in the dark. Please note that this is expressly noted in your hire contract! Much of Australia's wildlife is more prominently on the roads at dusk and dark when it is cooler and of course, much harder to see. Dusk or nighttime driving…..DON'T do it!
The Scene of an Accident
Whether you are involved or not in an accident, the accident scene can still be potentially dangerous. Make sure you are aware of the dangers still present to yourself and your passengers and any potential dangers to vehicles still using the road. If you are involved in an accident or arrive at the immediate aftermath of an accident you should: stop immediately, put on your hazard lights to warn other road users, if possible you should send someone to warn oncoming drivers, dial 000 for the emergency services (some mobiles need to dial 112) if you suspect someone is severely injured or there is a fatality, exchange details with the other vehicle involved in the accident such as name/s, address, contact phone number and make a note of their insurance details and vehicle registration, clear the road of any glass or debris if it is safe to do so.