Obviously – don’t. It’s simply not worth taking any level of ‘it’ll be okay’ risk in such deadly circumstances.
However, with summer approaching, there are circumstances where drivers might find themselves in an area, perhaps unknown to them, where a forest fire has taken hold. Or, there might be a need to quickly leave home if fire is threatening. If this should ever happen to you, here are four vital tips to remember…
1. Look for the safest exit road less impacted by the fire
There can be a danger to just getting in the vehicle and driving out along any road. Here’s a mantra to remember: it’s not always the quickest way out, it should always be the safest. Of course, there may only be one viable route. Otherwise, do check what advice is being offered about any options regarding a route to take. For a longer drive, check again at regular intervals because safety advice or road closures might change as rapidly as the spread or direction of the fire.
2. Close all vents and windows
Your air-con will be a friend in re-circulation mode. There is a danger if, say, smoke seems to have cleared, of opening the windows for some ‘fresh air’. However, it might actually still be toxic, especially for anyone in the vehicle with allergies, respiratory health problems and the like.
3. Drive cautiously, not just quickly
There can be a mindset of ‘beating the fire’ and the conditions that this has caused, or is causing. Calm driving is vital, as is an attitude of caution. In severely reduced visibility, use your horn on bends and to warn other vehicles or wildlife on the road. Remember to be alert for others in difficulty who might suddenly have stopped in the middle or by the side of the road.
4. Check your vehicle before you set out
Make sure there are no flammable items such as gas cans on board. Try to avoid wearing any flammable synthetic materials; remember to take a phone and in-car charger. Add extra bottled water, and make sure you have a first aid kit with you if possible.
Hoping the above never happens to you
Here at Not My Fault, we hope that you never find yourself in the terrifying situation described above.
The same is true of car accidents – under any conditions. However, do keep our number to hand – 1800699034. If you are an innocent victim of an accident, and your wheels are going to the repair shop, under Australian Law you are entitled to an accident replacement car. So, call us if this ever happens to you…