New road signs are appearing on Australian country roads especially for drowsy drivers searching for designated snooze areas.
With a huge land mass and small population, long distance driving is second nature for most drivers with empty long roads along farming or natural bushland. It’s easy to feel drowsy. However it only takes a few road signs to wake you up especially regarding animals, trucks and train crossings. But if your eyelids are heavy, you cannot recall the last few kilometres and you are blinking slowly, then stop for a Powernap.
In the State of Victoria, large blue signs are asking whether you are feeling “Tired? Powernap now” Then another sign, “Powernap Area 300m” What a great idea with safe off – road designated areas to stop for a quick 15-20 minute power nap. To learn more how your body reacts and driver fatigue, click on this link http://drowsydriving.org/about/facts-and-stats/
It’s reported that driving when tired is more dangerous than driving when under the influence of alcohol. Certainly fatigue is a major factor in many car crashes.
ANIMAL warning signs are always a favourite such as the kangaroo. Other signs you may see are for the koala, wombat, emu and ‘stock ahead’ meaning cattle or sheep. It is much easier to see wandering animals in daytime but great caution is required in the early morning or evening hours. See an earlier blog posting http://www.longdistancedriving.com/2016/01/01/beware-animals-at-dusk-on-the-road/
If you were in the northern Australia, you’d see the crocodile warnings
Trucks and railway crossings always lighten my mood as though in toyland but certainly increases my alertness.
Care is needed for following, overtaking and passing oncoming large trucks especially with the wind vortexes they create. Let alone their massive weight, length and time required for braking and steering. Make sure the truck driver can see you in their side mirrors with your headlights on and give lots of notice for any indicator signals. Plus keep well to your side of the road. Remember Isaac Newton’s Second Law of Motion which is;
Force = mass ( weight of truck) multiplied by acceleration ( of truck)
STOWAWAYS IN THE ENGINE
Now back to snoozing on the road. It is not only the driver who needs to stay awake. Sometimes one carries unexpected animal passengers in the engine bay. Nesting mice especially when in plague proportions, the lost cat snuggling for engine warmth and even more scary ones. Click on the video below to look at this snaky guest.
Until next month, safe long distance driving and plan your next long road trip. And if you hear any funny engine noises, open the bonnet and look around for stowaways.