If you’re travelling this Easter in regional NSW, make sure you check out the 'Free Cuppa for the Driver' website, plan your trip, have regular breaks and collect your free cuppa at one of more than 100 participating businesses.
At freecuppa.com.au drivers can search for the nearest participating business as well as find useful information on the scheme, which is operational until 31 May 2021.
Parkes, Forbes and Lachlan Shire Councils' Road Safety and Injury Prevention Officer, Melanie Suitor, said drivers were entitled to a free cuppa at participating businesses if they were more than 100kms away from home.
"The second biggest killer on NSW roads is drivers who are tired. This scheme encourages drivers to stop, have a break and enjoy a free cuppa.
"Drivers claiming a free cuppa can also go into the draw to win fuel vouchers, travel vouchers or a coffee machine, with a total prize pool of $1,200.
'Remember that coffee is no substitute for rest. We really just want you to stop and take a break," Ms Suitor said.
Free cuppas are available from a broad range of businesses with varied opening hours, making regular breaks and free cuppas more accessible than ever.
The best way to avoid driving tired is to make sure you have enough sleep before driving, regardless of the length of your trip. Drivers can avoid fatigue crashes by recognising the early warning signs - yawning, tired eyes, restlessness, poor concentration, drowsiness, daydreaming, head nodding, oversteering, slow reactions and boredom.
Top tips to avoid driving tired include;
- Get a good night’s sleep
- Avoid driving at night when your body will naturally want to sleep
- Arrange to share the driving
- Avoid long drives after work
- Plan to take regular breaks from driving
- Stay hydrated and eat healthy snacks
- Check if any medicine you are taking may affect your driving
- Know what the early warning signs of fatigue are and take a break
Ms Suitor said if you feel tired while driving pull over for a break in a safe place, have a nap (20 minutes works best), swap drivers if you can and even if you don't feel tired take regular breaks to avoid becoming tired.
"Fatigue related crashes are twice as likely to be fatal, as drivers who are asleep can’t brake.
"Being awake for about 17 hours has a similar effect on performance as a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.05.
"Please travel safe this Easter and take advantage of the 'Free Cuppa for the Driver' scheme," Ms Suitor said.
Photo: Destination NSW