Driving around Australia is actually not much of a headache as long as you know the basic rules. Make sure you that you are aware and understand them even before you decide to hit the road:
1. Know the car very well. Before you bring the car out of the rental company familiarize yourself with the features, especially the safety amenities, such as hazard lights, seatbelts, and locks. Australians are very strict about road safety. You will also likely meet accidents and injuries if you don’t check them out before you hit the road.
2. Apply for a driver’s license. We are not talking about the domestic license you’re using. You need to apply one in Australia, and you have to carry it with you at all times. The police doesn’t accept international driver’s permit either. If you wish to drive, ensure you can process your driver’s license before you arrive in the country. Of course you need to bring along your valid driver’s license.
3. Follow the driving rules. There are tons of them, but let’s talk about the most essential. First, keep yourself and your kids safe. It doesn’t matter where you’re driving. The seatbelts must be properly worn at all times. If the seatbelts appear to be much bigger for the kids, you can hire or purchase a child restraint. The police love to surprise drivers once in a while. The last thing you want to happen is to receive a violation ticket.
You also have to be mindful of your speed. On the average, you are allowed to drive up to 60 kilometers per hour when you’re in the city and 100 kilometers per hour when you’re in distant towns and less crowded regions unless the signs say otherwise. The police can follow you discreetly, so you better watch out from being apprehended for overspeeding. You also need to slow down when the weather happens to be bad.
As much as possible, don’t drink and drive. That’s the best way to keep yourself safe. However, if you cannot help that, know that the legal alcohol limit in the country is 0.5 mg per blood liter. You may find yourself spending a night in jail and your license revoked if you fail the breathing test.
4. Carry a map with you at all times. Australia is a large country, and you get the feeling of getting lost once you reach the farther regions such as the Australian Outback. It pays to have an up-to-date map with you, as well as a GPS in your vehicle or on your mobile phone.
5. Be watchful of the wildlife. Roadkill is common in Australia, especially along the highways, and it’s normally committed by tourist drivers. When you’re driving in places where wildlife is abundant, it pays to slow down.
6. Keep left. Always drive on the left lane unless you’re going to overtake another vehicle, which means you have to go to the right. However, you can never overtake and go right with tramcars.