Expect the unexpected

With long travel distances, high-speed limits, and some unpredictable conditions, driving in rural and remote areas takes some serious concentration. If conditions change, slow down – because the faster you go the less time you have to react to the unexpected.


Queensland Police captured footage on outback roads at Windorah and Birdsville showing visibility hazards while driving.

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Wildlife—particularly kangaroos—are more active at dawn and dusk and cattle and sheep might stand in the middle of the road to watch you approach.

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Dry weather can create dusty conditions and limit your visibility, while wet weather can make roads muddy, slippery and boggy. Keep yourself safe by slowing down.

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Long distances and stretches of unchanging outback landscape can make a driver very tired. Drifting, yawning, or trouble keeping your eyes open? It’s a sign you should take a break.

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Unsealed roads

In rural and remote areas, you may encounter gravel, sand or dirt roads. Driving on unsealed roads can be challenging – your tyres can lose traction, while loose dirt and gravel can be thrown up by other vehicles.

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Time of day

When driving at night, many rural and remote roads are unlit. If you’re driving towards the west, the afternoon sun from 4pm can impact your visibility and mean you might not see oncoming vehicles or animals.

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Towing a caravan, camper trailer, boat trailer or horse float, requires additional driving skills, concentration, and safety precautions.

1619 Road Crashes
50 Lives lost
799 Hospitalisations
Crashes involving light passenger vehicles towing a trailer from 2017 – 2021 in Queensland


Australian Bureau of Statistics. (2017). Regional Population Growth, Australia, 2006-16: Population by Statistical Area Level 2

2 Bureau of Infrastructure Transport and Regional Economics. (2016). Road Trauma Australia 2015 Statistical Summary. Canberra: Commonwealth of Australia

3 Data Analysis, Department of Transport and Main Roads (2023) Road Crash Data.