If you’re heading to the snow fields this winter and planning on driving, keep your family safe with these driving tips for snowy and icy conditions.
Pack the essentials
Before setting off on your drive, ensure you have some blankets in the car, a light source such as a torch, and snacks. You never know what a turn in weather can bring and it’s best to be prepared rather than get stuck in snow with no supplies. If you do get snow-logged, stay with your vehicle and try to leave your interior light on so you are more easily detectable. Do not walk through a snow storm.
Know how to handle your vehicle in the snow conditions. Before you go out check that your vehicle is in good working order by checking brakes, adding anti-freeze to the radiator, and double checking your battery.
You should also ensure you have snow-safe tyres with a thick tread and snow chains. It is illegal in some parts of snow-country to drive without these. Always obey the traffic signage and be aware that wildlife may cross if you are within a national park.
It’s also a good idea to drive in the tracks made by the vehicle before you, as this path is less likely to be icy or slippery.
Don’t accelerate too quickly in snowy conditions as it can cause your wheels to spin and you can lose control of your vehicle.
Don’t brake suddenly
Leaving enough space between you and the car in front means you’ll have more time to react and brake safely. When slowing down, apply the brake slowly to avoid skidding and ‘fish-tailing’ on the icy roads.
Keeping a good distance
Keep a safe distance from the vehicle before you. A good guide is to double the 2-second length rule, keeping a 4-second gap between you the car in front.
Speed limits are designed for when conditions are ideal, however when conditions turn for the worse it’s important to remember to slow down to a safer speed.
Keep up visibility
A general rule when driving through the Australian snow fields and mountains is to keep your low beam lights on during the day time. If it happens to start snowing whilst you’re on the roads and your visibility lapses, turn on your fog lights. If you have trouble seeing, slow down and pull over to a safe spot in the emergency lane until it’s safe to drive.
Stay safe in the Australian snow
Of course, unless it’s absolutely essential you should not be driving when there is a snow storm, so check the conditions before you head off. The snow fields are a fun place for a holiday however it’s important to know how to get there safely. The Transport Centre for NSW has more tips on their website for before you go driving in snowy weather and you can check in with live traffic updates here.
Ensure you also have a suitable car insurance policy in place before you set off. Speak to one of our CGU insurance advisors today regarding your options. Contact us today on 13 24 81 to speak about Car Insurance.