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Winter and snow driving tips | carsales

Winter and snow driving tips | carsales


The numbers don’t lie: more crashes occur
during the winter months than in summer. Injuries and fatalities are more likely when
the roads are wet or icy. Staying safe in the cooler months begins with
good maintenance. First up, have your car serviced before you
set out on a winter journey. Your tyres are the only point of contact between
you and the road, so make sure they’re roadworthy, and at the correct pressure. Check all fluid levels, and top up or replace
if necessary. Yes, all good. It’s also a good idea to check your anti-freeze
concentration as well. Good to go. Finally, ensure lights and wipers are working
correctly, and the washer bottle is full. Visibility is one of the most important safety
factors on the road. Dirt and grime from the road can quickly build
up on your car’s tail lights and headlights. Keep them clean with a light wipe over as
often as possible. If you’re driving to the snowfields, bring
chains, or you can rent a set along the way. Remember that you want to fit the chains to
the drive wheels. All set to go. Driving smoothly is essential to maintaining
grip on wet or icy roads. On low friction services, being too aggressive
on the steering, brake or throttle will reduce the tyres’ grip on the road. Turn the wheel gently and press the brake
pedal or accelerator progressively to maintain traction. If you detect wheel spin, ease off the accelerator. You’ll also need to increase your braking
distances when the grip level is low. Conditions can change quickly during the winter
months, so always try to anticipate potential hazards. Roads can become very slippery after a shower
following a dry spell – this is due to the oil build up on the road surface. That’s why more crashes occur on the first
rainy day after weeks of sunshine than during consecutive days of constant drizzle. Be aware of flooded areas, and don’t drive
into water – even though the road itself might appear to be firm bitumen underneath. Aside from being dangerous, replacing or repairing
an engine that’s become waterlogged can cost thousands. Pay attention to the safety signs. If the sign warns that the road can be slippery,
or that there may even be black ice on the road, slow down and drive to the conditions. If it’s foggy, slow down. Keep your headlights on low beam – or don’t
use them at all if you can operate your car’s own foglights independently. Avoid using high beams in fog – the beam
glare will further reduce your ability to see ahead. Switch on your headlights at dusk, and if
your car has foglights, use them only in foggy conditions. Remember to turn off your foglights in clear
conditions, as they can blind other drivers at night. Winter weather can be hazardous, but it’s
nothing to be scared of. With a few precautions, allowing some extra
time and care, you can still have a safe and enjoyable drive.

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