Winter driving tips to keep you safe from severe weather

19 July, 2017

Driving during winter can pose a new set of challenges on the roads. Winter weather can include storms, hail, severe downpours, flooding, and even snow in parts of Australia. Here are some tips to make sure you’re staying safe whilst on the roads in winter time.

Stormy weather

Accelerate and decelerate slowly in any slippery and wet weather, otherwise you could lose control of your vehicle. Also avoid turning sharply, and attempt to drive in the tracks of the vehicle before you to avoid skidding.

Remember, the road speeds are designed for when conditions are dry, not wet or stormy, therefore it’s important to slow down in wet weather.

Hail

If you happen to be in your vehicle when a hail storm hits, stay inside the car to avoid injury. Stop driving and pull over to a safe place. If you keep driving the force of the hail on your vehicle will be stronger. If you can angle your vehicle so as the front windscreen takes the brunt of the hail do so as the windscreen is often made to withstand this. If the hail is severe, take a blanket or jacket to cover yourself with and lie down with your back to the windows.

Flooding

Avoid driving through flooded areas unless it is absolutely essential. If you need to, take the safest route possible by checking road condition updates first and never drive across a flooded road or bridge. Remember that flood waters move fast and can be unpredictable. They also contain debris which can damage your vehicle or injure you.

Snow season

If you are driving through snow season in some part of Australia, pay attention to your tyres and make sure they have added grip. If you become stuck in the snow, it’s best to stay with your vehicle and not walk through a snow storm. Always keep blankets in the car in case of getting snow-logged. Better still, avoid driving through snowy conditions altogether and wait out the weather if you can.

Poor visibility

Fog, downpours, and road spray can all contribute to poor visibility on the roads. In the case you are having trouble seeing, ensure to put on your fog lights and slow down to a safe speed. Also keep a good distance (double what you usually give) from the vehicle in front of you. If you have severe trouble seeing, find a safe spot to stop, put on your hazard lights, and wait until the weather clears.

Safety and emergencies

Slippery weather, poor visibility, speed, and inexperience can all contribute to causing accidents during winter. Make sure to familiarise yourself with these types of traffic conditions before setting out, and if you have a learner driver under your wing, ensure to teach them about changing conditions.

If you are planning a longer driving journey during winter, check weather reports to get prepared for the journey ahead.  

And of course, ensure you have appropriate insurance for your vehicle. If you’re not sure what type of car insurance will best suit your situation, it may be best to speak to one of our friendly staff at your local CWCU branch.



Central West Credit Union Ltd ABN 67 087 649 885 acts under our own Australian Financial Services Licence   and under an agreement with the insurer, CGU Insurance Limited ABN 27 004 478 371 (CGU)(AFSL 238291), the issuer of these products.
Advice provided is general advice only and does not take into consideration your personal needs, personal situation or financial objectives. You should read the relevant PDS carefully before deciding to buy or hold the product. Insurance cover provided by CGU is subject to policy terms and conditions.

General insurance issued by CGU Insurance Limited (CGU) ABN 27 004 478 371 AFSL 238291. Any advice is general advice only and does not take into account your individual objectives, financial situation or needs (“Your Personal Circumstances”). Before using this advice to decide whether to purchase the insurance policy, you should consider your personal circumstances and the relevant Product Disclosure Statement available on this website. Central West Credit Union acts as an intermediary of CGU.