While driving in another country can seem a little daunting, it’s not, as long as you have the know-how.
Australia is a beautiful country, one of the best ways to see the sights without the rush is by driving yourself. Roadtrips throughout the country are a great way to experience the beauty and landscapes Australia has to offer, particularly in more remote areas. While driving in another country can seem a little daunting, it’s not, as long as you have the know-how. Make sure to check out the state laws and road rules where you are travelling, but to start your research, these are our top tips when driving in Australia.
Wear your seatbelt
It is illegal to not wear your seat belt while on the road in Australia. Road rules are strict on seat belt use for both passengers and drivers, and it is the driver’s responsibility to ensure all passengers are buckled in. Children under 7 years old must travel in either a child restraint or a booster seat. For more information, see the government website in the state you are visiting.
Don't use your phone
Using your phone is illegal while driving, even if you are stopped at a red light, a stop sign and even while going through a drive-through. Taking your eyes off the road for 2 seconds or more doubles your risk of an accident. If you need to take a call or send a text on your mobile phone, you must pull over and park safely first. Using your phone as a GPS device is a grey area as some states do not permit it. If you will be doing this, it is best to confirm it’s legal with the state government website you’re travelling to. And if you are caught on your phone illegally, you risk a hefty fine.
Carry a map
If you’re going on a road trip through the countryside, taking a physical map with you is good practice. Or download the map of the area you’re visiting so it can be used offline. While most roads are well-signposted, phone coverage can be quite patchy and unreliable, particularly the more remote you’re driving. To be safe, carry a physical map or download the map of the area to avoid the stress of getting lost and having no service to see where you are.
Drive on the left
Would it be a complete list of tips without mentioning this? In Australia, we drive on the left-hand side of the road and have right-hand drive vehicles. Also, remember to keep to the left lane unless you’re overtaking by the right lane. If the white line in the middle of the road is broken, you are permitted to overtake when it is safe to do so. If there are two lines in the middle of the road, you are only allowed to overtake if the line closest to you is broken.
Don't Drink and Drive
While we do not recommend drinking and driving, in Australia, if you are on your full licence, your blood alcohol concentration is required to be below 0.05. For all other drivers, your blood alcohol concentration must be at zero. In addition, random roadside testing is common, and penalties are high if you drive over the legal limit.
Observe road signs and traffic lights
Road signs indicate upcoming road conditions to be aware of, sharp turns or even wildlife to be mindful of. While driving in Australia, be vigilant while on the road. Speed limits are marked, and stop signs are common. Like most countries, red lights indicate that you need to stop. Being mindful of the road signs while driving and doing research beforehand is ideal to ensure you have a safe trip.
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