Drivers urged to stop, revive, survive and help regional towns thrive
With a long weekend and school holidays on the way, many Australians will hit the road. As we enjoy our break, we’re being urged to take a break – from the road.
Suncorp Group’s insurance brand AAMI is urging drivers to take road-trip rests to avoid the dangers associated with fatigue behind the wheel.
New AAMI research shows one in four Aussie drivers admit to driving for longer than four hours in one sitting.
Alarmingly, 14 per cent of motorists say they have been in an accident or a near-miss because of fatigue or having a ‘microsleep’ behind the wheel.
As a result, AAMI is urging motorists to break up their journeys and enjoy a rest in a rural or regional town.
Not only does a detour give a tired driver a well-deserved break but it also gives small towns and businesses hit hard by natural disasters and COVID-19 a much-needed cash injection.
“After years of drought, bushfires and the recent floods – not to mention the pandemic - many of our rural towns have faced multiple challenges,” said Matt Pugliese, AAMI’s Head of Motor Claims Victoria and Tasmania.
“With so many Aussies expected to hit the road over Easter and the school holidays, the AAMI Rest Towns campaign provides drivers with an incentive to stop, revive, survive and help rural towns thrive,” Mr Pugliese said.
“We’ve highlighted some of the ‘hidden gems’ throughout the country that people can visit on their way to their holiday destinations.
“Places like Hahndorf, South Australia – the country’s first German settlement - where you can grab a pretzel or two. Or Avenel, Victoria– where they can try a life-changing (and potentially lifesaving) parma.
And we can’t forget Tailem Bend, SA – where you can get yourself a cuppa and an insta-snap to remember with The Big Olive.”
Russell White, CEO of the Australian Road Safety Foundation (ARSF) said he hopes Aussies take notice of the safety message behind the campaign and take a break every two hours when driving.
“Fatigue-related crashes tend to be more severe than others, due to the drivers’ delayed reaction times and failure to take action to avoid a crash,” Mr White said.
“All too often we hear about crashes caused by drivers pushing their limits, driving for too long, not taking breaks – and then having to live with the dire consequences.
“As a driver, you are responsible not only for yourself but also for your passengers and other road users – it is your responsibility to make sure you take the necessary precautions and breaks when behind the wheel.”
To help you remember to take breaks every two hours, you can tune in to the AAMI Rest Town playlist on Spotify.