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Safety & Security

08 May 2019

Winter vehicle and driving safety

The leaves are changing colour and falling from the trees, the beanies and puffers have started to appear and in no time we will be getting some much needed rain (hopefully). Winter is coming!

What does this mean for winter driving? The harsh winter months can add an element of risk to your road trip. Winter weather and road conditions make it especially important to be a safe and conscientious driver to ensure you make it to your destination in one piece. Here are some important safety tips:

Tyres – These are the most active safety equipment of your vehicle – it is kept on the road by the four tyre contact areas that are not much bigger than the size of your palm. Ensure they have sufficient tread (no less than 1.5 mm), check tyre pressure (check at least once a month) and check the condition of your tyres by looking for any lumps, bulges or cracks. Some vehicle manufacturers recommend that tyres be replaced every six years regardless of use as they deteriorate over time.

Headlights – Winter brings with it low light conditions. No matter the time of day or driving conditions headlights can be crucial to driving safely and being seen by other road users.

Battery – When the temperature drops, so does battery power. Have your battery checked for sufficient voltage, amperage and reserve capacity. Replace if necessary.

Braking distance – It takes much longer to stop in the wet, so don’t follow other cars too closely when it’s raining or if the roads are wet. Increase the gap between you and the car in front to at least four seconds.

Delay your travel – Do you really need to take that trip in your car right now while it is raining cats and dogs? Postpone travel until storm fronts have passed through.

Remember – You are your car’s best safety feature. Take precautions to ensure you arrive safely at your destination this winter. When the chilly temperatures of winter set in, will your vehicle be ready for the cold?

Snr Sgt Alex O'Toole - Station Commander, Southbank Police Station

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