Top 10 Things To Watch Out For On The Road This Winter

  1. Black ice: This is when a thin, transparent layer of ice covers part of the road. It’s extremely tough to spot, and can make your vehicle skid or lose control on the slippery surface. This phenomenon rarely happens in Australia, except in alpine regions, but don’t let your guard down – black ice is most dangerous when it catches you by surprise.
  2. Heavy rain: It drastically reduces your visibility: it’s much harder for you to see things, and much harder for other people to see you. Always use your headlights and wipers in these conditions. To make matters worse, rain leads to…
  3. Wet roads: When the road is wet, it’s hard to gain traction, which makes it much harder to stop and turn. Remember that your stopping distance increases when it’s wet. In extreme circumstances, this can cause aquaplaning – when your tyres move over water instead of through it, potentially resulting in a loss of control of your vehicle
  4. Flooding: Like wet roads, but worse. If there’s a risk of flooding, plan ahead and try to change your route.
  5. Fog: Just like heavy rain, it makes it hard to see. Use lights, including highbeam if you need to.
  6. Misted-up windscreen: Related to fog, but also to sudden changes in temperature. Visibility is essential to driving, so remember to use your demisters.
  7. Hail: Terrifying and destructive, they can damage your windscreen wipers and even break glass. Avoid driving in severe hailstorms if possible.
  8. Snow: Rare in Australia except at high altitudes, but a hazard to visibility, and dangerous when it piles up on the road. Plus, it melts and can cause wet and icy roads.
  9. Strong winds: These might not seem like they affect you, but strong enough gusts can have an impact – and highways and tunnels can make wind worse. Also bear in mind that you share the road with cyclists and motorcyclists.
  10. Other drivers: When any of these conditions make it harder for you to drive, they make it harder for everyone else too! And not everyone will be taking these precautions!