A few days from now, New Zealand will be experiencing drastic changes in weather conditions. Winter is waving and winter driving is hard and dangerous. Winter driving is a skill that even the most experienced driver still has to adapt to extreme situations such as overcoming slippery and icy roads. According to AAA, driving in severe weather conditions such as winter has to double his alertness and avoid alcoholic beverages to prevent road accidents. In fact, according to the statistics gathered by the Federal Highway Administration, drivers – trucks or cars – about 190,100 crashes per year happen during winter.
So, how can we help you take care of your car? Buckle up and read some of the most effective precautionary methods you can do while driving in winter.
1. Keep updated with the latest weather reports
Weather is unpredictable. But, whether you’re going on a long-distance trip or just swinging by a convenience store, keeping yourself informed and updated is critical, especially, in isolated areas. If you can, store essential items and food at home so you won’t have to drive around during these situations. If you are driving for a living, though, inform your superiors for possible delays and give a heads up on the routes and ETAs.
2. Ensure your car is well-maintained
Nothing beats well-maintained vehicles. Visit your nearest mechanic or auto shop and ask them to check the tires, windshield wipers, lights, and batteries. Ensure that they are in good working condition before driving on ice. You may ask them if they can put snow chains on your tires. If you are looking for an auto shop in Silverdale or within a 5km radius that can do this, save this number: 09 426 5016.
3. Fill up your tank
Essentially, filling up your tank in case you get trapped on the road is necessary, especially; if you live in snowy parts of the country. Make it a habit to have enough in your vehicles at all times.
4. Pack an emergency bag/kit
Having an emergency bag or kit – regardless of the weather – is a must. I’ve listed items that are essential to put in your emergency bag:
- An extra mobile phone with emergency numbers such as 111, numbers of your close family and friends on speed dial, as well as, your car repair service company.
- Blankets and sweaters
- Canned goods
- Medicines or maintenance pills
- A set of photocopied car and life insurance policies.
If you are stuck in snow, do NOT attempt to walk or get out of the car. Your vehicle serves as your temporary shelter. Hence, stay inside as it is easier to locate you.
5. Mind your speed
Driving fast is impossible during snow. And even if you can drive fast, it is better to accelerate and decelerate slowly. Keep in mind that it takes time to manoeuvre on snow-covered roads.
6. Check your brakes
Whether you have antilock brakes or not, the most effective way to stop is to do threshold braking. If your vehicle doesn’t have this feature, keep a steady pressure on the brakes by keeping the heel of your foot on the floor. Do not slam on your brakes as this is the reason why most cars skid.
7. Do not drink and drive
This is pretty straightforward yet hardly practiced.
Although, to some, winter is the most anticipated season, driving during winter is one of the most dangerous activities to do. Therefore, if you really don’t have to go out, stay at home. Should you need to report for work, advise your company about the situation and will understand your situation as safety comes first.
Winter or not, safe driving is a must. We all must be mindful of our surroundings. Rodney Auto Centre is one with you in saving your time and wallet by giving you the utmost care you and your car need.
We are a one-stop shop for all vehicle repairs and maintenance. For quality auto services in Silverdale, always think you have Rodney Auto Centre near you! Visit or book your car inspection or service now via www.rodneyautocentre.co.nz.