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Long road trips can be fraught with unpredictable accidents and driving conditions. With changes in weather as you drive further into different states, to winding roads that feel impossible to follow, driving interstate can be complicated the first time. To avoid accidents, especially not-at-fault accidents, driving safely is paramount. We’ve compiled our tips for safe driving on unfamiliar roads, and how to prepare for road conditions that are unique from state to state.

Follow a GPS

Interstate roads can be extremely different to what you’re used to; from state to state, the design can feel very strange, especially for smaller roads in built-up areas and around the central business districts. A GPS will help you predict the road patterns ahead of time, to help you avoid making wrong and dangerous turns. Additionally, when engaging with an accident replacement vehicle or hire car, ensure you include a GPS additionally to the car’s setup. As the vehicle is already unfamiliar and drives differently to your regular car, it’s wise to include navigation as a precaution.

Keep a safe distance

Though we should always maintain a safe distance on the roads, no matter where we drive, driving on unfamiliar roads should always come with additional caution. Especially in congested areas and high-speed zones, exercise added distance between you and the cars around you. It’s during this style of driving that not-at-fault accidents are likely to occur; even if you’re in the right, a cautious approach will help you stay safe interstate.

Research road rules

Some road rules differ depending on each state, especially around landmarks and varying traffic conditions. In Victoria, for example, specific laws surround the speed near trams as well as the regulated stopping distance. These laws don’t exist in other states, so those living outside of Victoria won’t know how to drive legally around trams. However, as a visitor, you’re expected to know these laws and abide by them, no matter where you’re from, so prior research is essential.

Keep distances shorter than normal

As you travel through Australia, long driving stints can make it harder to concentrate and navigate around unfamiliar roads. Through areas foreign to you, keep your driving distances shorter than average by prioritising longer breaks than usual. It’s best to consult your GPS before you start driving again after any breaks, to plan your next driving break adequately.