Approaching arctic blast poses driver danger warns RACV

23 June 2016

With an arctic blast expected to sweep across south eastern Australia in the coming days, RACV is warning motorists to be prepared and take extra care when driving in winter conditions.

The Bureau of Meteorology is warning of blizzard conditions in Alpine regions with large parts of Victoria, New South Wales, the ACT, South Australia and Tasmania to be hit by a freezing weather system.

RACV Manager Vehicle Engineering, Michael Case said driving in severe weather can be challenging and dangerous and motorists should slow down and be prepared.

“Poorly prepared vehicles, driving too fast and failure to treat the icy conditions with respect can lead to accidents and damage to vehicles.

“Check your tyres, windscreen wipers, the battery, lights, brakes, heater and cooling system before heading off.

“When driving in the snow, drive to the conditions and take it easy. Even if the snow has been cleared, the road is still likely to be slippery and black ice is always a danger.”

“In wet weather use your air conditioner to prevent your windscreen from fogging up. However if visibility is so limited that you can’t see the edges of the road or other vehicles at a safe distance, it’s time to pull over and wait for the conditions to ease.

“If it is foggy don’t put your lights on high beam as this makes the road harder to see. Instead use low beam, as this keeps the light on the road and fog lamps if the conditions are bad enough.

Mr Case said rain, slush and mud were particularly hard on vehicles and he advised drivers to get their vehicle serviced regularly.

“You will spend less money servicing it than you will on towing and fixing it, if you break down,” he said.

RACV research has found that tyres were often neglected with one in five cars on Victoria’s roads found to have at least one un-roadworthy tyre.

“I cannot stress enough how important tyres are to a car’s safety. Tyres must have plenty of tread depth, correct pressure and no damage and make sure the spare is on board and in good condition.

“The recommended minimum tyre pressures for individual vehicles are listed on a plate inside the driver’s door jamb or glove box,” Mr Case said.

Written by Lynette Keogh, RACV Public Affairs on 9790 2572
July 23, 2016