North Kimberley roll overs

Submitted: Sunday, Jun 07, 2009 at 05:36
ThreadID: 69577 Views:3970 Replies:21 FollowUps:14
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Hi All,
I’m on my soap box tonight !
Hopefully I'm mostly preaching to the converted.
There have been three rollovers on the Kalumburu road & Mitchell Plateau track in the last 3 weeks, another one just yesterday. People were hurt (some quite seriously) several ended up in hospitals.
A miracle there were no fatalities.
One of my staff working up the road also saw another bloke fishtail 3 times before he luckily got control, another near miss. He had kids in the car as well.
Daughter & son have both recently driven to town, both trips they near misses from imbeciles sliding sideways at them out of control on corners and if my lot hadn’t been hugging their own side it might not have been a miss.
These are just the ones we have actually seen. I guarantee there were many more close calls we don’t know about.

The cause of all this is driving TO FAST, TO FAST, TO FAST added to inexperience on the gravel. Vehicles often end up on the wrong side of the road, then out of control.
Many less experienced people expect the gravel to be the just same to brake on on a corner as the bitumen but of course as most of you know it isn’t ANYTHING like the same.
Even on a straight part going quick the vehicle is almost floating on the loose gravel. Last year a lady lost control on a dead straight part & went head on into a tree. The front was so smashed in she was jammed behind the steering wheel.

People blame the roads, hit a hole, loose gravel, sharp corner etc etc.
It is NOT the fault of the road.
If you are going slow enough then the roads are safe, it’s more some idiots driving on them you have to watch out for.

Over the last 10 years these North Kimberley roads have been improved a lot, great in some ways but the speed people now think they can do has also increased. They get on a good bit and fly along but these roads don’t stay the same. To this day there are good and bad bits and sharp corners when you least expect them.
PLEASE you are on holiday, the hour you may gain simply isn’t worth the risk.
Remember the drama of an accident out here is 100 times worse than in town where you are close to medical and tow trucks etc.
Out here it will be a long long time till any form of help can arrive.
We repeatedly every year have to help people. We see the heartbreak that follows from the wrecked holiday, the smashed vehicle and the hurt people.
Believe me after what we have seen it’s just not worth the risk.
Bad enough the damage you might do to your own vehicle or family but think about the other poor innocent people you might run into if you slide on a corner !
Just keep the speed down and practice defensive driving like sticking right over to your own side especially on all corners and hills.
Gravel roads are fine, IF you drive them in the proper manner.
Have a great & safe holiday
Cheers, Anne

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Reply By: Skippype - Sunday, Jun 07, 2009 at 05:55

Sunday, Jun 07, 2009 at 05:55
I work in the Cooper Basin. The message is the same here. .....SLOW to the conditions.....this is not town and the driving skills required are different.

Slow Down

AnswerID: 368774

Reply By: P7OFFROAD Accredited Driver Training - Sunday, Jun 07, 2009 at 07:08

Sunday, Jun 07, 2009 at 07:08
well said.

AnswerID: 368776

Reply By: Member - Uncle (NSW) - Sunday, Jun 07, 2009 at 07:44

Sunday, Jun 07, 2009 at 07:44
I couldn't agree more Anne. We experienced the same thing while working at Hillside last year when we did trips to Headland for supplies, using the Woodstock Rd.
It's the same deal here too with people blaming the Princes Hwy for the cause of accidents.
I cant recall a news reader on TV or radio ever saying that a recent road fatality was caused by a pothole, or a sharp bend in the road. Usually its either speed, alcohol or fatigue is expressed as a major factor in the cause of the crash.
Drive to the conditions.!!!

cheers Unc
AnswerID: 368780

Reply By: Member - Bucky, the "Mexican"- Sunday, Jun 07, 2009 at 07:58

Sunday, Jun 07, 2009 at 07:58

Speed is dangerous, simple as that, but still they do it, and when things go wrong, especially in a 4B, then it is usually in a big way.
I do not know what is wrong with some people !
Have to speed syndrome ?
Simple fact is, and I agree with you, they are imbiciles.

We do not speed, what's the point !
When things just go wrong, at a safe speed, you have time to react.
Big deal if you are 1/2 hr late, better than the alternative.

Anyway, we will be up your way in Late August, driving safely, and preserving our vehicles

Cheers, and hope to catch up


AnswerID: 368782

Follow Up By: olcoolone - Sunday, Jun 07, 2009 at 10:25

Sunday, Jun 07, 2009 at 10:25
Speed is used for anything that has motion.

Excessive speed is used for more speed then what is needed or deemed dangerous for the given conditions.

Speeding is a term given by the Govt. saying you are travelling over an advertised limit whether dangerous or not.

That's why the Police will always say speed was a contributing factor in a accident as the vehicle was moving at the time of impact....if a vehicle has an accident at 10 Kph in a 80 Kph zone the police can still say speed was a contributing factor as the accident would of not happened is the vehicle was stationary.

Most people get confused with the differance.
FollowupID: 636305

Reply By: Member - Josh (VIC) - Sunday, Jun 07, 2009 at 08:08

Sunday, Jun 07, 2009 at 08:08
Well said Anne,
We did the gibb last year and although it was in great condition we kept our speed down. Did no damage and had a great trip. Spoke to others who had broken stuff but were pushing pretty hard. We saw an accident in Tassie were a car over took a truck on a corner an killed the family coming the other way. 200 mts up the road was an over taking lane. Just a week ago we had a person in a britz van over take 6 cars and a bus towing a car on a blind corner. The bus had to move over to let him in before he hit the on coming traffic. As you say it is just not worth it. I'm also amazed at how fast people speed again after passing a serious accident as if it won't happen to them. Please listen to what Anne is saying and slow down and be patient. Also if you are towing and going slower than the general flow of traffic, pull over as soon as possible to let people pass, this helps to stop them getting impatient and passing when they shouldn't.
Most of all have a safe and happy trip with memories to last a life time.

AnswerID: 368785

Reply By: time waster - Sunday, Jun 07, 2009 at 08:37

Sunday, Jun 07, 2009 at 08:37
Agree totally Anne, we travelled your way two years ago and found the biggest issue is that oncoming vehicles don't ease of the gas when they pass you and spray you with stones, we have not only found this on the Gibb but on the other majors like Birdsville,Plenty,strzelecki and so on.

I think with peoples time restraints good dirt roads mean they are trying to see as much as possible in such a short time, some of the reported kms done in the time they had is amazing lot of them sound like a Kontiki Tour.

Hope you have a safe season.
AnswerID: 368787

Reply By: Ray - Sunday, Jun 07, 2009 at 08:39

Sunday, Jun 07, 2009 at 08:39
It would appear that what ever speed you travel at be it legal or illegal some one will overtake you> don't think people like driving behind other vehicles. Another thing that annoys me are people who continuously drive in the right hand lane when they have no intention of turning right. They think that they are in the "fast" lane. This practice only inhibits vehicles from entering the road from the right.
AnswerID: 368788

Reply By: Crackles - Sunday, Jun 07, 2009 at 08:41

Sunday, Jun 07, 2009 at 08:41
Thanks Anne. A timely warning coming into the winter touring season. But don't think this is just a dirt road problem. I live just off the Hume Freeway & hear the ambulances go out every few days days with a fatal accident at least every month! It's a lack of attention & fatigue that gets them here.
Drive safe.
Cheers Craig..............
AnswerID: 368789

Reply By: Member - Puffin (NT) - Sunday, Jun 07, 2009 at 08:55

Sunday, Jun 07, 2009 at 08:55
Thanks Anne for that timely reminder. We will be travelling to the Kimberley at the end of July with three other couples. I have copied your post and sent it to them as a reminder that we will be on holidays and to relax and enjoy the area and all it has to offer.

AnswerID: 368792

Reply By: Oldsquizzy (Kununurra) - Sunday, Jun 07, 2009 at 09:03

Sunday, Jun 07, 2009 at 09:03
A lot more that you dont know about. Have four in the yard now and have delivered two to panelbeaters Anne. The logistics of recovering some of these vehicles and people when they try to go where no 4by has gone before at warp 9 is staggering. Most times the insurance company or roadside assistance workers have no idea of where they are and will take a couple of days before they give the work order to go and fetch and then there is a couple of days to do the job. That means it can be a week from the moment you lift off till you get back to sunny Kununurra, A very stressful week.
Like Anne said, Take twenty klms off your speed and be ten minutes longer and maybe we will never meet. I really hope I dont meet the vast majority of you as it usually means the Sh--t has hit the fan if we do.
AnswerID: 368794

Follow Up By: Drysdale River Station - Sunday, Jun 07, 2009 at 12:17

Sunday, Jun 07, 2009 at 12:17
The one that rolled yesterday drove themselves out, which is why I didn't have to call you this time !. Woke the whole campground ( and me) at 4 am this morning as they departed in the dark. They seemed to feel the need to slam every door repeatedly as hard as they could several times then drive through campground with headlights on high.
This was after I had to go and see them at just before midnight last night because they had music on so loud right in center of campground. Music was so loud I could hear it 200m away at the homestead.
All I did last night was say, can hear it at homestead, middle of night, others trying to sleep, turn it off. One of the group kept saying quite belligerently, no need to be so rude about it.
I didn't raise my voice, I didn't swear & he's into ME for being rude.
Oh dear perhaps I didn't say please enough times.
Hell like I really wanted to be over at the campground at midnight in my dressing gown all because they were so selfcentered and inconsiderate they didn't give a you know what about all the other campers they were disturbing.
Of course they were not being rude to everyone else, it was all my fault.
The strange noises the vehicle was making as it departed they will be lucky if they make town & to be honest I no longer have much sympathy at all.
Some people shouldn't go bush at all, they just spoil it for everyone else.
cheers, Anne
FollowupID: 636315

Follow Up By: Oldsquizzy (Kununurra) - Sunday, Jun 07, 2009 at 13:30

Sunday, Jun 07, 2009 at 13:30
I agree...They just rang from out of town and told me it was now my them as soon as they took it on themselves to go against what the insurance company wanted it was there problem....Oh and have a lovely sunday..
You have a good day and take care...
FollowupID: 636325

Follow Up By: Member - Old Girl (QLD) - Monday, Jun 08, 2009 at 14:11

Monday, Jun 08, 2009 at 14:11
Here here. Good on you. Started to get a bit defensive for you. We use to run tow trucks. The, oh sorry (some) city folk are the rudest and thankless people around. "Dont pull it up that way' one fella said you dont know how to drive this car. He just got done for DUI. We so didnt care. They think your stupid. They dont realise bush telegraph is stronger than any of their communication in the bush. Looking forward to coming up your way next year. Going to work our way around WA.
FollowupID: 636439

Follow Up By: Truckster (Vic) - Wednesday, Jun 10, 2009 at 16:53

Wednesday, Jun 10, 2009 at 16:53
>> Some people shouldn't go bush at all, they just spoil it for everyone else

Sadly I say this more and more as time goes on..
So many as bleep s out there now thinking "im in th bush, I own it"...

I dont even bother going away on long weekends anymore, due to this fact... Quite sad.
FollowupID: 636782

Reply By: turbopete - Sunday, Jun 07, 2009 at 09:16

Sunday, Jun 07, 2009 at 09:16
Driving with care on gravel/dirt roads is the norm to people who live with dirt roads ,,,are there big signs to warn the city drivers about the driving conditions,, maybe they wont make much difference but they may save a life,,or perhaps a bit like the crocodile signs ,,some people dont take notice of them and bye bye baby
AnswerID: 368797

Reply By: get outmore - Sunday, Jun 07, 2009 at 09:24

Sunday, Jun 07, 2009 at 09:24
trust me it is unlikely they were "accidents"

I was driving to Nullagine from newman when i saw a telstra GU ute fast approaching from behind. I was coming to a long blind sweeper doing the company imposed limmit of 90kph and next thing this idiot is passing me on the corner.
i just thought "how do people drive like that and get away with it"

50km later there is a bit of a dog leg going through a creek and theres this brand new telstra ute on its roof with about 50m of fishtails leading up to it.

Young fella was alright but all he could say was how bad the ute was to tip over so easy
AnswerID: 368799

Reply By: T-Ribby - Sunday, Jun 07, 2009 at 11:44

Sunday, Jun 07, 2009 at 11:44
Some preventative measures that may help:

1. 4WD hirers stop putting their vehicles into the hands of drivers who have no offroad experience whatsoever.
(eg Fraser Island)
2. Someone tell Sanitorium to stop putting drivers licences into their Weetbix packets.
3. 50kg accelerator pedal springs.
4. Frontal lobotomy to remove the "need for speed"

In a more serious vein - compulsory defensive driving courses. If I may digress, a Queensland boating licence is a full days course, with practical handling and a written test, and yet it is just as dangerous out on the water.


AnswerID: 368818

Follow Up By: get outmore - Sunday, Jun 07, 2009 at 11:55

Sunday, Jun 07, 2009 at 11:55
so getting a car liscense should be just as easy as a boat liscense?
1 day including the written test? and then thats it - way you go
FollowupID: 636312

Follow Up By: T-Ribby - Sunday, Jun 07, 2009 at 12:05

Sunday, Jun 07, 2009 at 12:05
From my experience of drivers on and off the water, I would rate the result of both licences the same.

FollowupID: 636314

Follow Up By: Trevor R (QLD) - Sunday, Jun 07, 2009 at 19:59

Sunday, Jun 07, 2009 at 19:59
I got my boat liscence 23 years ago and have barely driven a boat since, yet I am still liscenced to go out buy a hell of a "pleasure craft" and go for my life. This would be outright dangerous to me, any occupants in the boat and anybody within cooee of my craft as well. Same applies to vehicle liscences, if authorities were serious we would have mandatory re-liscence testing and advanced driving courses standard before issue of liscence. Either on land or at sea there is safety principals that you MUST KNOW for everyones safety.

Regards, Trevor.
FollowupID: 636359

Follow Up By: Member - Graham H (QLD) - Sunday, Jun 07, 2009 at 20:08

Sunday, Jun 07, 2009 at 20:08
Actually Sanitarium make Weetbix.
However if you dont eat enough you may end up in a sanitorium.

FollowupID: 636360

Reply By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Sunday, Jun 07, 2009 at 11:52

Sunday, Jun 07, 2009 at 11:52
Hi Anne
Like all of the above, people and speed on dirt road and not driving to road condition can only end up one way. We can all talk until we are blue in the face, and human nature the way it is, people will never learn.
It is up to all responsible four wheel drivers to teach those that are heading bush to slow down, take your time and live to enjoy that special trip.


Smile like a Crocodile

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AnswerID: 368819

Follow Up By: Trevor R (QLD) - Sunday, Jun 07, 2009 at 20:09

Sunday, Jun 07, 2009 at 20:09

My nephew is just 17 and has just bought his first vehicle. His choice was a 4x4 Hilux, my response was "as soon as you have your P's were are off on a professional course on how to use it". Hopefully this will keep him and his truck out of harms way for a little longer than it took me to put my first vehicle on it's lid (3 days out of curiosity).

Cheers, Trevor.
FollowupID: 636361

Reply By: Rolly - Sunday, Jun 07, 2009 at 12:35

Sunday, Jun 07, 2009 at 12:35
Thank you Anne for your timely posting.
AnswerID: 368824

Reply By: splits - Sunday, Jun 07, 2009 at 12:53

Sunday, Jun 07, 2009 at 12:53
I think a lot of this has got to do with the typical Australian driving holiday. You have two weeks off work so you plan a 6000k trip. You drive like a bat out of hell regardless of the conditions in order to keep to the schedule then come home exhausted and go back to work for a rest.
AnswerID: 368825

Follow Up By: Rolly - Sunday, Jun 07, 2009 at 13:29

Sunday, Jun 07, 2009 at 13:29
Sometimes described by folks who know better as: "Metrocentric Insanity" ;)
FollowupID: 636324

Reply By: Beemer - Sunday, Jun 07, 2009 at 19:19

Sunday, Jun 07, 2009 at 19:19
G'day Everyone,

Comments in regard to speed are worth noting. But as person that deals in road crash rescue I thought I would remind everyone what to do in the event of coming across an accident.

All to often people try and drag victims out of cars, a couple of things to think about.

Take a breath.
Look at the seen and make sure you are not in danger.
If victims are conscious and breathing advise them to remain very still. Check if SRS air bags at steering wheel and dash have deployed. If not keep your body parts away from this.
Turn off ignition.
Now assess if the vehicle is stable.
If on its side try and tie vehicle off to prevent it rolling
If on roof pack something underneath if vehicle has movement.
Try not to create movement by jumping around or on vehicle, (vertical movement can create further injuires).
Now ensure patient is comforted and treated. Most people may not be aware of their injuries. Adrenalin can shield injuires.

Mechanism of injuries can vary subject to type of accident, such as those in a roll over where risk of fracture to neck/spine is predomenant.

Unless their is a likely event of the vehicle catching on fire or the victim stops breathing etc, you need to limit movement. However when help is a long way off this may mean you need to remove the patient. This needs to be well.
thought out.

It is a timely remeinder to everyone that has a 4WD station wagon to ensure your have a cargo barrier, fire extinguisher etc.

For any clubs or groups that are in our area near Frankston Vic I am happy to hold an awarness and demonstration evening with regard to Road Trauma from a rescuers perspective. Just PM to discuss.


AnswerID: 368854

Follow Up By: Trevor R (QLD) - Sunday, Jun 07, 2009 at 20:25

Sunday, Jun 07, 2009 at 20:25
Beemer one of the first crashes where I was on the scene early, I saw an older experienced gentleman calmly lift the bonnet of this severley T-Boned vehicle where the driver was trapped and proceded to remove battery terminal connections whilst the rest of us were not really sure on what to do. This gentleman had assessed the situation quickly and decided that all prospects of spark had to be eliminated, I have never forgotten this and will do the same if ever the situation calls for me to do so.

So much goes on in your mind though, judgements can get very clouded if you are not involved in these types of rescues every day.

Cheers, Trevor.
FollowupID: 636366

Follow Up By: Beemer - Sunday, Jun 07, 2009 at 21:00

Sunday, Jun 07, 2009 at 21:00
Battery debate is interesting. You actually create a spark when disconnecting.
If you must disconnect, Negative always first.
However it is debatable about batteries and not always required. What movement do you create when trying to disconect. Also if vehicle is overturned how do you achieve this safely. If a Land Rover defender then batteries under seat for excample. Do not disagree, just need to weigh up what is the risk and is it worth it. All subject to type of accident and impact.
Point to consider - If SRS Drivers or front passenger Airbag has not deployed then if accessaqble without risk disconnect. In saying that their are such a variety of SRS type systems around the newer the vehicle the more technology in these and it may be as simple as the sensor doesnot detect a person in say the passenger seat.

Every accident is different

FollowupID: 636371

Follow Up By: Member - sdr00y (Beecroft,NSW) - Wednesday, Jun 10, 2009 at 15:15

Wednesday, Jun 10, 2009 at 15:15
Trevor, before you disconnect the battery in new cars with power windows, put a window down so you can access the car if someone locks it manually and closes the doors.

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FollowupID: 636764

Reply By: Member - Warren R-Silver Sands - Sunday, Jun 07, 2009 at 22:00

Sunday, Jun 07, 2009 at 22:00
Hi Anne

Couldn't agree more. We came through just after the the troopy went over. The road is in great condition at the moment and so many people just go WAY too fast.

Exploreoz people please have a good look at what Anne says and think abut it when you next travel.

Many thanks for the great hospitality at Drysdale, it's so good to be met by friendly faces.


AnswerID: 368873

Reply By: GLX3000 - Sunday, Jun 07, 2009 at 22:58

Sunday, Jun 07, 2009 at 22:58
Anne, folks. Better late than DEAD - on time. Coming back from SA after picking up our 20' caravan, I had encouraged my wife to drive and become aware. She was keen. I impressed upon her the importance of braking - hard if necessary - before steering around or away from a problem. One of the very first things I taught her.

She understood the implications of swerving a 2500kg Pajero DiD towing a 2200kg van.

The very next day she is at the wheel. We go through some undulating country with nice blacktop and good road width. For a change, I'm the one enjoying a little scenery.

Driving up a slight rise, I see the tops of two almost identical sleeper cabs side by side. Must be a sweeping bend I thought, I'm seeing one behind the other. Still a fair way away even at our speed of 85kms hr. I see the cabs slowly emerging from behind the crest, and they are not straightening up as they should coming out of the bend. I remind my wife to steer straight ahead and slow down. I feel our rig decelerating. The big rigs are now exposing their radiators, they are getting close. We see a small car towing a van in front of one of them, and the other one is overtaking both, on our side of the road. Brake hard darling, brake hard, brake harder!!, keep control. Now come off the shoulder. Whoosh, whoosh. Bastard, Bastard, Bastard!!

You did well love, are you O/K? That BASTARD!!

I have no beef with truck drivers. I only have a beef with idiot drivers!

AnswerID: 368878

Reply By: madcow - Sunday, Jun 07, 2009 at 23:02

Sunday, Jun 07, 2009 at 23:02
Yeh saw the troopie coming back from Mitchell plateau and afetr speaking tot he towie that night they were very lucky and it was ona s traght stretch of road. Great spot you have there and it was one of the best on our travels to date

AnswerID: 368880

Reply By: Member - George (WA) - Monday, Jun 08, 2009 at 19:11

Monday, Jun 08, 2009 at 19:11
Could not agree more Anne. Not to mention the stones they throw up into the windscreens of cars travelling in the opposite direction with obvious results. Speaking from experience

AnswerID: 368985

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