Winter makes for extremely adverse driving conditions for all road users, no matter their level of experience.

Getting behind the wheel during a heavy storm or downpour is one of the most challenging encounters for drivers and is no doubt associated with high accident rates. In the months of June, July and August, it pays to be extra cautious of your driving style. It is highly recommended to avoid driving in these hectic conditions if you can.

If you have no choice, use the following 5 winter driving tips that will help you arrive safely at your destination:

  1. Ensure all of your vehicles controls are in working order before you leave the driveway.

This includes double checking your wipers, headlights and tail lights, your hazards, and windshield wipers are functioning. Making sure your tires are properly inflated is vital. It is also important to completely defrost your front and back windshields to ensure you can clearly see out of them. You can do this by pouring tap water onto them – not boiling water as this will cause the glass to crack!

  1. Keep Under the Speed Limit

Speeding is always a no-no and doing so in slippery conditions is just asking for trouble. So depending on the severity of the conditions, keep below the speed limit even if it’s not a busy road. Also, if you are driving on a non-busy freeway during heavy rain, avoid using cruise control as braking will be required to negotiate upcoming bends. Cruise control is for drivers who have one less thing to concentrate on in safe circumstances.

During substantial rain you should be 110 percent focused on all aspects of driving!

  1. Lighten Up

In heavy rain, it is imperative to drive with your headlights on, even during the day! Lights increase your visibility to other road users as well as allowing you to see them. Don’t be afraid to use your high beams, especially if it is dark and late in the night.

  1. Keep Your Distance

Retain a greater distance from your car to the one in front of you than you usually would in otherwise perfect conditions. You may be forced to brake heavily due to an upcoming road accident and keeping a more than safe distance will allow you to avoid a collision with the car ahead.

Braking is also made more difficult in the wet, which is another important reason for maintaining a safe distance from other traffic.

  1. Give It Time

Allow extra time to get to your destination. In other words, if you say you’ll be there in ten, you’ll realistically get there in 15-20 minutes as you are expected to slow down to a safe speed. You will be forced to drive slower due to a number of factors, including congested road conditions and potential crashes that may delay you from getting to your destination.

Unfortunately, even if you try your best to drive responsibly and defensively, accidents can still happen. After a car accident, there are important steps you should take to ensure your own safety, and the safety of others involved. For this reason, Aussie Driver has created a handy Car Crash Checklist, which is available now to download from our website HERE.

  • Unfortunately, or fortunately as the case may be, I don’t drive. But I worry for my partner and kids who do drive, especially when the weather isn’t great or they’re around lots of vehicles. Getting your license is a fantastic achievement, but those roads are mighty dangerous

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  • No. 2 is so important I think it is scary how some people drive fast in horrible weather.

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  • If it is foggy do not use you headlights on high beam. This is Police recommendation and possibly Law. If you have fog lights use them. Even in Summer you can get fog as we experienced one Sunday night while towing a trailer behind our car. It was spooky as it was like suddenly driving through while clouds( like planes fly sometimes) for a few km. then clearing like cutting bread with a knife. We had been warned via CB Radio by a truckie we know and we thought he was joking. We came down the freeway in the left hand lane slowly as visibility was quite bad, but other vehicles were “flying” past us. We saw the red tail-lights as they passed and heard their motors. Our driver that night is a car fanatic but he couldn’t even decipher what colour the cars were, let alone the brand and model as he usually can.

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  • Great advise but I think it is just general driving tips – we need to keep all these things in mind in the summer too

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  • a great list, I hope it saves many lives

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  • It’s good to be reminded. Thanks

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  • Thanks for posting :) shared this around!

    Reply

  • It’s amazing how people forget to drive during rain/winter weather! Hopefully people will remember these simple tips to keep everyone safe!!


    • Yes, I have witnessed so many drivers driving faster instead of slower on wet slippery roads. Too many injuries or worse still deaths are caused under such circumstances.

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  • Wish everyone would follow these!

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  • wonderful tips i just wish some of the hoons on the roads would do this

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  • Hopefully mum will read this article and be careful on the roads in any season x

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  • thanks all good reminders

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  • I like number 1, checking all your vehicle controls are working before leaving your drive way can help you not have an accident or get a fine.

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  • Be wary of black ice if there is visible frost on the ground – to keep traction drive with one wheel on the road shoulder.


    • One of my cousins was driving very slowly down a highway as it was very misty rain and visibility was poor. He left home for work about 3/4 hour earlier than normal because he knew it was foggy.
      He reckoned cars were going past him so quickly that all he was seeing was a flash of lights are they flashed past. He saw them go past but had no idea hoiw far ahead of him they are after a few seconds. He had the misfortune to drive over a patch of black ice and spun around onto the other side of the road, Fortunately he didn’t hit anything, probably because it was a wide road and it was well before peak time traffic. Because of his work involved sometimes having to travel on very rough country roads and tracks he had done a professional defensive driving course + a refresher. He couldn’t stop the car from spinning.
      He just took his foot right off the accelarator. Had he slammed on the brakes he would have skidded a lot further and possibly rolled against the edge of the other side of the road as its edge was right against a hill. It really shook him up. He told us that on that night’s TV news there had been accidents in the same strip of road later during peak time.

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  • Although i never learnt how to drive. I learnt a thing or two in this article.

    Reply

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