While Australia has a comparatively sunny winter compared to other parts of the world, the arrival of the cold season brings with it a number of road hazards that drivers should be acutely aware of. According to a recent survey Australian drivers spend 71 minutes in a car during a typical weekday. With a total of 355 hours on the road for anyone who commutes to work during the week, it’s important for drivers to be conscious of the five following potential winter road hazards.
- Wet roads
Even if we don’t tend to get a lot of seasonal snow in Australia, the winter months bring a lot of precipitation. So slow down! Rainy conditions cause more accidents due to low visibility and poor road grip. Don’t go anywhere without checking your tyre tread isn’t threadbare and your wipers are functioning fine.
- Mist and fog
If it’s a warm winter, you’re still not free of all the bother. Rain hitting a warm road that hasn’t had time to cool down can create mist-like conditions over the roads, which can significantly impact visibility.
If you’re unlucky to get caught in this, or in a regular misty area, be absolute with your senses. Even if you play it perfectly safe, you might need to give other people a bit more braking room behind you to compensate.
- Snow and icy conditions
There’s not much, but snow can still occur up mountains or in specific locations throughout Australia. What’s worse, a lot of Aussie drivers aren’t good at dealing with it due to its relative infrequency!
On snow, your tyres can slip very easily, and your braking distance can be almost doubled. If you’re going to a snow-laden area for any significant amount of time, you might want to consider snow\winter tyres to combat it.
The worst thing you can do in a hailstorm is panic. Hail isn’t generally strong enough to shatter glass, so you should calmly make your way into the closest shelter and wait it out until it passes by. If you’re not in the car, get it into the garage or other enclosed area ASAP to avoid mechanics fees!
- Cold weather
You might not think about it as a weather condition like snow or sleet, but cold enough weather can stall an engine, freeze up a component, and makes starting your car sometimes a long and arduous process.
Combat the coldness of winter by taking a few simple steps. Give yourself a few extra minutes before each trip to be on time, in case you need to warm up the engine.
Written by Gwen Mackey