Being well-prepared for all weather conditions is always a good idea, but driving in wintry conditions poses unique risks and dangers, making preparedness even more crucial. We take a look at some of the most critical safety measures Australians can put in place to avoid being left stranded in the cold.
- Winter temps are bad news for your battery
When temperatures fall, you need to be extra-vigilant about the health of your car’s battery. Extreme temperatures are known to affect car batteries severely. The winter chill will make even the best-quality battery slow to start or end the service life of a dodgy one.
Make sure that getting a battery check at a reputable auto service centre is one of the first things you do this winter.
In addition, ensure that you have jumper cables stored in your boot or under a seat so that you don’t have to flag down another driver to borrow theirs in an emergency.
- Use weather-appropriate tyres
If you use the wrong type of tyres in the winter months, you run the risk of losing control of your vehicle and skidding on icy roads. The disadvantage of using summer tyres in winter is that it will take much longer for your car to stop. Winter tyres are made with more durable and pliable material that improves traction on slippery surfaces.
Also, ensure that the tread on your tyres aren’t worn. This is the season when you’ll need excellent grip to stay on the road. Replace old tyres before they become a safety hazard.
- Keep an emergency kit in your car
And speaking of emergencies, they are an unfortunate fact of life, and you need to make sure you’re ready for whatever life throws at you. An emergency kit can be a lifesaver, so it’s vital to have one in your car.
A basic kit should – at the very least – include extra-strength latex gloves (at least three pairs), a first aid kit, a blanket, warm coat/raincoat, snow boots and gloves, food and water (non-perishable foods like snack bars), a flashlight and spare batteries, and a tow rope.
- Roadside assistance membership
For extra peace of mind, a roadside assistance membership could prove particularly beneficial in winter. Knowing back-up is just a call away is especially useful if you will be making long trips away from home or if you have small children.
Of course, the first step to take in winter is to ensure your car is in an overall good condition. Schedule a routine check-up for your vehicle at one of our easily located Midas Auto Service Centres
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