There are more than 840,000 registered recreational vehicles in Australia. It is expected that 14 million nights and four million camping trips will be taken over the coming months, meaning this summer holiday period will be bustling with campers taking to the road in record numbers, to reconnect with loved ones and create life-lasting memories.
Safety is at the heart of what the Caravan Industry Association of Australia (CIAA) is committed to; in fact, it is in our vision statement, and it is why we are constantly working towards improving safety outcomes for consumers.
Recreational vehicle users travel more than a billion kilometres on Australian roads every year, making them a vital part of the road safety solution. In a worrying statistic, it is estimated that only 5-10 per cent of RV purchasers take a towing course, and while some owners do have prior experience, many do not.
We are spending the weeks leading up to the summer holiday season reminding everyone, thinking about hitting the road, what a safe holiday looks like. As part of our summer caravan and camping safety campaign, we are calling on Australians to brush up on their safety knowledge to improve the safety of all road users and holidaymakers over the period and beyond.
Research indicates that:
- RV road users are most likely to be in a crash on Monday or Sunday as drivers return from their holidays.
- Crashes are most likely to occur between 10am and 12pm.
- While crashes are more likely to occur in urban centres, fatalities are more likely to occur on regional roads.
- Rear ends are the most common reason for a crash (18 per cent) followed by angle collision i.e. turning (14 per cent) and losing control (13 per cent).
In partnership with other state caravan associations, professional service providers and other relevant bodies such as the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator and Queensland Trucking Association, the CIAA has developed free to access consumer digital and print educational assets. This information is provided as easy-to-digest videos, engaging online quizzes and detailed written content.
Arriving safely at your destination is obviously critical but is only one part of the safety discussion, as statistics show that in our water-loving nation there is also an increased risk of drownings during the summer months. Caravan parks across the country provide a safe, family-friendly and exceptional holiday experience. However, with the number of campers choosing to spend their holidays in parks, we’re reminding holidaymakers to remember the importance of pool safety and shared spaces.
While many caravan parks have chosen to keep defibrillators on-premises to improve the safety of their patrons, a patient’s best chances of survival is dependent on the actions of bystanders to take the first step by applying CPR (chest compressions). The survival rate can more than double if CPR is applied in the first instance and mitigate possible brain and organ damage that can occur when the body is deprived of oxygen. There are many free online courses that will educate you in applying CPR as well as recognising the signs of sudden cardiac arrest.
The popularity of camping is at an all-time high thanks to the fact that Australians are seeing the many benefits of camping holidays, such as getting back into nature with family and friends, seeing our beautiful country, supporting tourism and regional areas and getting out of the stress of our hectic daily lives. We encourage all holidaymakers to pre-plan their trips and refresh their safety knowledge ahead of the season, to get the most out of their holiday and to ensure they and their loved ones return home safe and sound.
National Recreational Vehicle Towing Guide
The National Recreational Towing Guide is a wealth of technical information and an invaluable resource for both novice and experienced RV owners. Each year, tens of thousands of printed handbooks are distributed free of charge and also available to download in digital format from the website www.caravantowingguide.com.au
The Co-Exist website focuses on sharing the road safely with trucks and other heavy vehicles, creating a better understanding of the legal requirements of professional drivers, and educating the wider public on how they can support our trucking industry and contribute to safer roads. Along with this information, the website also houses engaging educational videos and fun quizzes to test your knowledge: www.coexist.org.au
This CPR education program was developed by Monash University in conjunction with DefibsPlus and RMS. It is free and is designed to encourage and support bystanders to provide immediate care for cardiac arrest patients, including recognition, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and defibrillation. The program consists of four modules each with an associated mini quiz. When you complete all four modules and mini quizzes, you will receive a Monash University Certificate of Completion. www.heartsmartprogram.com
Chief Executive Officer