Aussies love a big rig. As the summer warms up, highways up and down the country are flooded with camper vans, caravans, utes, and 4WDs, some towing massive pop up mobile homes to bring every aspect of home luxury to the bush.
In the coming months, 800,000 registered RVs are expected to hit the road, making some 4 million trips, according to the Caravan Industry Association of Australia. That’s a total of 14 million nights out under the stars before the end of the year.
Of course, while camping is full of simple pleasures and a great way to get away from it all, it also comes with its own set of problems. Unfamiliar territory, a huge increase of big and heavily loaded vehicles on the road, and people driving tired after less than ideal sleep can all play a role in making the roads and the rigs unsafe.
Research by the Caravan Industry Association has found that RV road users are most likely to have a crash on Monday or Sunday as drivers return from their holidays.
These crashes are most likely to occur between 10am and 12pm, with more crashes occurring in urban centres. However, fatalities are more likely to occur on regional roads.
Rear Ends are the most common type of crash (18%) followed by angle collision i.e. turning (14%) and losing control (13%).
Before setting out to your favourite spot, it’s worth having a brush up on the info you need to get yourself there and back safely.
Currently, the Caravan Industry Association of Australia is offering free information on road safety it has developed in partnership with state caravan associations, professional service providers and other relevant bodies such as the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator and Queensland Trucking Association.
This includes road safety information regarding pre-planning your trip to manage fatigue, appropriate use of rest stops, vehicle preparation, sharing the road with trucks, towing, caravan parks shared spaces and pool safety.
Keeland Howard, GM of Marketing and Communications at the Caravan Industry, has said that “Camping popularity is at an all-time high, as Australians see the many benefits of a camping holiday, getting back into nature with family and friends, seeing our beautiful country and supporting tourism and regional areas while also escaping the stress of our busy day to day lives”.
“The last few years have reminded Australians how lucky we are, and that we may have taken some of our fondest and simplest pleasures for granted”.