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Winter Driving Tips From Hertz Australia

July 6, 2017 Motoring No Comments Email Email

Winter in Australia provides a great opportunity to get out of major towns and cities to experience seasonal activities, whether that be exploring the ski slopes down south or escaping to the country to gather around an open fire. In any instance, it’s no surprise it remains a busy time on Australian roads.

http://www.itehcmc.com/Eoin MacNeill, Vice President Asia Pacific, said: “In Australia we’re blessed with favourable weather pretty much all year round, but in the winter months, we can encounter more challenging driving conditions, such as heavy rain, frost and, in some regions, snow.

“Many local drivers can be caught unaware, whilst visitors may not expect these conditions. When renting a car from Hertz just ask our friendly staff for advice on driving to your destination and they will be happy to give you tips on road conditions and other information to help you have a relaxed and incident-free journey.

“Once you’re on your way it’s a good idea to regularly check the weather forecast on your car radio. Like in many places, the weather can change quickly and it is always best to be prepared.”

Many Australians use the winter months to explore the ski slopes in New South Wales and Victoria. These regions can bring testing weather conditions. A good source of accurate weather information can be found from theBureau of Meteorology: www.bom.gov.au, where in-depth area forecast for the Australian snowfields is provided.

Black ice is a potential hazard and one that is often hard to see in low light. It is most commonly found around waterways and lakes. It is important to look out for shiny, wet patches on the road and when approaching black ice to drive slowly, increase the following distance from other vehicles and avoid sharp turns or sudden braking.

Visibility is another risk to manage in winter and it is a good idea to drive with headlights on, even during the daytime. A working torch (with spare batteries) and a fully charged mobile phone are good items to have on hand in case you run into any problems.

When travelling across unknown terrain, it is not uncommon to ignore what conditions will impact a journey. Choosing an AWD or 4WD is a smart choice when driving across challenging ground, especially if there’s rain, snow or icy conditions. The added traction will provide more grip on the road and in some scenarios will mean you’ll be safer and more confident.

The following tips from Hertz may come in handy:

  • Know where you’re going before you set out in your car. Things can look very different under a layer of thick snow, and signs may be obscured. If you have a sat nav / GPS, program it to find the best route before you set off.
  • It is compulsory for the driver and all passengers to always wear a seatbelt. Seatbelts are a proven safety feature while driving, so drivers must ensure passengers are wearing them at all times.
  • Take a break – Fatigue is a key contributor to road accidents in Australia, given the distance between destinations. Always plan rest stops and pull over in a safe place if you’re tired or have been driving for a long time.
  • Listen to weather and traffic forecasts and check for road closures. If bad weather is predicted, listen for guidance from weather forecasters and traffic agencies. Sometimes it may be advisable to delay your trip; even just a few hours can make a difference.
  • Before you drive, warm the car and ensure that all lights, windows and mirrors are free from any condensation. Condensation can quickly impact visibility, so ensure to turn on the vehicle’s air conditioning and demister. A thorough clean of a vehicle’s interior and exterior windows will also assist in eliminating condensation.
  • Make sure that you and your passengers are equipped for bad weather. Dress warmly and have a rug or blanket in the boot of the car.
  • Visibility. Sun glare reduces visibility making it more difficult to see the road ahead, which is particularly common at sunrise and sunset. It’s always a good idea to have a pair of good quality sunglasses to protect your eyes and reduce any hazardous conditions.
  • Drive slowly. Everything takes longer when the weather is bad. Accelerating, stopping, turning…nothing happens as quickly as on dry pavement. Give yourself time to maneuver by driving slowly.
  • Increase following distance. The normal dry road following distance of three to four seconds should be increased to eight to ten seconds in wet or icy conditions.
  • Watch out for black ice. Remember it may not always be visible. Drive your car with extreme caution. Try not to brake sharply. If you do go into a skid, drive into it, and never brake on ice.
  • Peace of mind. Hertz’s Basic Roadside Assistance Program (included in all rentals) covers the vehicle for any mechanical defects. For even greater assurance when renting this winter, customers can choose to purchase Hertz’s Premium Emergency Roadside Assistance cover. This is an optional product that covers any unlikely non-mechanical situations and/or problems when hiring a vehicle including a 90 minute roadside guarantee, lost/locked key service, out of fuel service and tyre mounting.

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