RACV encourages Victorians to have a safety mindset this summer
RACV is urging Victorians to keep safety at the forefront of their plans ahead of the Summer holidays, with some useful tips to address potential risks at home and on the roads.
Across the state, RACV is expecting an uptick in travel to regional hot spots and holiday destinations.
RACV General Manager Automotive Services, Jackie Pedersen, said it was important that everyone who takes to the road is aware of changed driving conditions brought on by extreme weather events throughout the year.
“Heavy rain – brought on by the La Niña weather phase – has contributed to flooding that has deteriorated the quality of roads, causing potholes and other hazards for road-users,” Ms Pedersen said.
“It’s vital that Victorians who are about to embark on road trips are aware of these changed conditions.
“Whether you’re using roads you’re familiar with, or driving to a new regional location, it’s very important that you plan ahead and be prepared for increased traffic and different driving conditions.
“Leave earlier wherever you can to avoid any unnecessary rush and remember to have patience with your fellow motorists.”
RACV has recently published advice from an RACV Drive School instructor for motorists encountering potholes.
RACV also recommends that motorists check that their roadside assistance and car insurance policy is up to date before they leave.
“It’s very good practice to get in the habit of also checking the fluid levels under the bonnet, including oil, coolant and even the windscreen washer level. Checking tyre pressure is also a must.”
Ms Pedersen said that scheduling regular stops and sticking to main roads will make for a safer, more predictable journey. RACV Head of Home Insurance, Kirsty Hayes, says there are simple precautions that you can take to make your home safer over Christmas.
“Christmas lights are a beautiful way to decorate at Christmas, but using power boards in your home can be risky if not used properly. It is important to ensure that you don’t overload power boards by attaching double adaptors or additonal extension cords to them. It’s also important to use good quality power boards with overload protection,” Ms Hayes said.
“Candles add a festive ambience to your home, but they must never be left unattended and always be extinguished before you leave a room. Never touch or move a candle while it is burning or while the wax is liquefied.
“Most house fires start in the kitchen. It is important to have a fire extinguisher and fire blanket in an accessible area of your kitchen. If you don’t own a fire extinguisher and a fire blanket, they are great items to add to your Christmas list.
“RACV recommends that you also take time over Christmas to review your home and contents insurance and ensure that you are adequately protected before you leave home for the Summer holidays.
“It’s also good practice to let a trusted neighbour know of your plans if you will be away from home for an extended period of time.”
Due to increased rainfall in Victoria, the state is expected to have below normal bushfire risk at the start of Summer. As the risk will potentially increase towards March, RACV recommends that Victorians use this time at the start of Summer to prepare their property.
“Make sure you regularly maintain the area around your home and yard to ensure it is free of excess vegetation and debris – this includes gutters and pipes,” Ms Hayes said.
“Also look to seal gaps in doors and windows to the best of your ability, and ensure flammable goods such as woodpiles are removed, or stored far from the home. It’s also a good idea to ensure your motor vehicle is adequately covered and has a had a safety check in case you need to evacuate.”