BE­WARE NO­MADS

Many driv­ers lax on safety

NT News - Motoring - - NEWS -

OLDER trav­ellers are of­ten cav­a­lier about safety, re­search has found. PAUL GOVER re­ports ERE’S a scary thought. Did you know many of the grey no­mads trav­el­ling Aus­tralia, of­ten drag­ging a car­a­van be­hind a huge four-wheel-drive, have lit­tle ex­pe­ri­ence of tow­ing or out­back roads?

Only half of those in­volved in a re­cent sur­vey in Queens­land be­lieve they have ‘‘ex­ten­sive tow­ing ex­pe­ri­ence’’ and most ad­mit they have lit­tle ex­pe­ri­ence of driv­ing on un­sealed or nar­row bi­tu­men roads.

The Queens­land Uni­ver­sity of Tech­nol­ogy study by Na­dine Bray­ley and Pa­tri­cia Obst sur­veyed 531 trav­ellers aged 55 and older.

They were ques­tioned on ev­ery­thing from their over­all health to their ex­pe­ri­ence and prepa­ra­tion for tow­ing. Bray­ley found ob­vi­ous gaps in their knowl­edge and ex­pe­ri­ence, yet only 36 per cent say they need more in­for­ma­tion on safe driv­ing.

Though many de­cided to see Aus­tralia af­ter a health scare, 78 per cent travel without a first aid kit and most rely on tele­phone or ra­dio for safety.

The find­ings prompted a call for free driv­ing and safety cour­ses at places where grey no­mads meet, such as car­a­van parks.

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