Victorians are being urged to be well rested and take breaks when traveling over the festive period, as many people prepare to take summer road trips for the first time in two years.
People will be relishing the chance to reunite with loved ones, with many driving long distances, at higher speeds and on unfamiliar roads for the first time in a long time.
One of the biggest risks associated with driving in these circumstances is fatigue, with Transport Accident Commission data showing drowsy driving contributes to 16 to 20 per cent of all fatalities on Victorian roads.
Sleep deprivation is a key risk factor. Research shows being awake for 17 hours has the same effect on your driving ability as a blood alcohol concentration of 0.05 and going without sleep for 24 hours has the same effect as a blood alcohol level of 0.1, which is double the legal limit.
As well as being well rested before hitting the road, the key to a relaxing and safe road trip is planning ahead, and drivers are encouraged to plan a rest break every two hours.
The TAC will be helping drivers stay rested this summer with ‘Pause Stops‘ along major regional routes, where people can enjoy complimentary barista-made coffee, comfortable deck chairs for a 15-minute powernap and games to entertain children while parents relax.
Pause Stops will also host a range of market stalls run by local businesses to support local economies after what has been another difficult year for the state’s tourism industry.
The TAC has worked closely with the VICSES to identify key locations for rest stops along major, high-traffic arterial roads.