The First-Time Drivers Guide to Preparing to Travel in the Australian Outback

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If you're a new driver having just passed your test, the first thing you'll probably want to do is enjoy the freedom that a car can bring. But what if you find yourself in a dangerous situation, stuck in the Australian Outback after breaking down miles from any help? Ensuring that you make suitable preparations and take adequate supplies could, in extreme cases, safe your life. This guide will help you to prepare for a safe trip to mitigate some of the bigger risks you may face when driving through the wilderness. 

Car Check

Before leaving make sure you employ a professional mechanic to check your car over. Ensuring things like the coolant, thermostat and radiator cap are topped up and in working order will reduce the risk of your engine overheating, whilst a suitable tool kit will come in handy if you need to perform your own repairs.

Roadside Assistance

It's not uncommon for accidents to occur when traversing difficult terrain, resulting in damage to your vehicle. Taking some simple tools will enable you to make simple roadside repairs and reduce the need for a roadside assist. Try to always carry a spare tyre, a jack and a lug wrench and make sure that you know how to change the tyre before you leave.

Stay Hydrated

The importance of water in any climate cannot be underestimated and packing enough for your journey should be your first priority. Dropping three to four percent of your own bodyweight due to hydration can have serious implications on your ability to think and make rational decisions, which can affect your ability to perform basic repairs on your vehicle. To minimise this risk, take more water than you think you'll need, aiming for around ten litres per day per person and stored in clean Jerry cans.

Having a tarpaulin or large sheet that can be used to rig up some shade will also help to reduce your body temperature and reduce water loss from sweating. If you pick a bright colour such as blue it will also have the added effect of acting like a distress marker, helping emergency services or roadside assistance find you.

Tell People Where You Are Going

Always tell someone where you are going and provide him or her with your intended route, plus any alternative routes you might take. If you fail to reach your destination within a designated timeframe then they will be able to contact the emergency services or provide roadside assistance with your probable location.