Friday, May 30, 2014

Drowsy Drivers Die ...

… and other lessons learned from our solo road trips. Once you get out of a city in Australia, especially in the center of the country, towns are few and far between. Rest areas, on the other hand, are quite frequent, as are side-of-the-road messages urging you to take a break from driving every two hours. “Drowsy Drivers Die” is just one of these messages. Others include Rest If Tired; Take a Break; Stop Revive Survive; and Fatigue Is Fatal.

They also, at least along the A1 that we used to exit Adelaide, mark the sites of traffic accidents. A black metal stake signifies a death, while an orange metal stake signifies an injury. Of the ones we noticed, the record went to the one with one death and five injuries.

Both the husband and I are used to the double-trailer semis in the States especially along Interstate 81. Here, the road trains can be three trailers long. Until today, we had seen road trains with two or three containers or with two or three tanks. Leaving Coober Pedy for Uluru, we saw one semi pulling one container and one tank, the first mixed load we’ve seen.

As for the husband’s experience with driving on the left, he has performed exceptionally well. Today, his second full day of driving, he only signaled a turn with the windshield wipers once, and that was his last turn of the day, into the Outback Pioneer Motel at the Ayers Rock Resort. Leaving Adelaide was a bit hairy, but I don’t think that was due to the newness of driving on the left. Rather, the local map from the Hertz car rental stopped a bit before the country map we had started. I think we would have had the problems we did even driving at home. Once we got on the correct road, we were good to go.

One thing we are being alert about is watching for animals such as kangaroos or cattle that might venture onto the road in front of our car. So far, the only kangaroos or cattle we have encountered have already made the acquaintance of someone else’s car. We did see a dingo, but it was a good distance away from the road and ran off when we pulled over to look at it.

1 comment:

Va said...

We take our driving so for granted, complaining about "the other" drivers, and an occasional loose ungulate on a country road, but wild animals bigger than a possum, not!