Winter is coming….
Ok, I know this is a bit dramatic when we live on the Sunshine Coast. Our winter days are nothing to complain about. However regardless of your location, it is vital to prepare your vehicle for the colder months to ensure you are best equipped and prepared for the season ahead. There is more to think about than you might realise, so we thought we would share our top motoring tips for safe travelling during winter.
1. Keep battery jumper leads in your vehicle
Winter is the notorious time for car batteries to go flat. The colder weather greatly impacts the ability of the battery to provide adequate power to the vehicle, and essentially puts it under a lot more stress than in the warmer months. In the situation of being stranded with a flat battery, one of the most important things you can keep in your vehicle are jumper leads. If you are unable to access Roadside Assistance, jump starting your car will have you back on the road in no time and prevent you being stranded in the cold. We recommend you familiarise yourself with how to jump start a vehicle if you are unsure, so you are adequately prepared.
Source: How Stuff Works
2. Book a service to have your vehicle checked for winter
Booking a service to have your vehicle professionally checked for the winter months is a pro-active and smart idea to help you stay safe on the roads. A list of important things to have checked in your vehicle include the brakes and brake pads, headlights and indicators, tyre tread and inflation, the general condition of your engine, the seals around the doors and windows and windshield wipers. The Sunshine Toyota Service Team can help you out with this. Our highly trained and knowledgeable technicians service both Toyotas and any other make or model vehicle to ensure it is in appropriate condition to keep you safe in the winter months. Call (07) 5493 3900 or click here to book your vehicle check at one of our service locations on the Sunshine Coast.
3. Make it a habit to check the weather conditions
Especially in the winter months, it is important to consider the weather conditions when you’re travelling on the road. The cold temperatures bring added weather risk factors such as frost, dew, fog and rain. This often results in deterioration of the road conditions, therefore it is a wise idea to take this into consideration. Before carrying out any major travel or planned trips, try your best to do a quick check of the forecasted weather conditions before you leave. If it is necessary, you can then make an informed decision to either delay or cancel your travel plans. Although it isn’t always possible, when you do have the opportunity to consider the weather conditions before travel, it is a responsible driving practice.
Source: Baron Weather
4. Drive to the conditions
So you have checked the weather conditions, but it isn’t possible for you to delay or cancel your travel plans. In this situation, the most critical thing you can do to keep yourself and other road users safe during the winter months (and any month) is to drive to the conditions. When the road conditions are less than ideal, please slow down. It won’t delay your trip as much as you may think, and it will greatly reduce your risk of being in a crash. Even 10 km/h under the speed limit will provide you with significantly increased control of your vehicle. It also provides you with added response time in the event of a hazard, so that you can make an appropriate driving decision. Be sure to maintain a larger gap between you and the vehicle in front of you, as braking time is significantly increased in wet conditions. If the roads are wet or the view is foggy, slow down and remain aware. It could save your own or another road user’s life.
5. Store winter necessities in your vehicle
We tend not to think about the worst-case scenarios unless they are on our doorstep, right? I want you to have a think about what you would need in your vehicle if you happened to break down or have an accident at night in the middle of winter. Chances are you will be stranded, waiting for assistance on the side of the road. Your vehicle won’t start, so there goes using the heater. This is a worst-case scenario, but storing some winter clothing and blankets in the boot of your vehicle to be prepared would have you thanking your past self. I’m not talking about having an entire wardrobe in the back of your car; just a warm and thick jumper, gloves and a blanket. You may never need them, and that’s ok. At least you were prepared!
6. Keep your windows clean
Visibility is of major importance in the winter months, and one of the best ways you can improve visibility in your vehicle is to keep the windscreen and windows clean and clear. This can be achieved by regularly de-fogging your windscreen to prevent build up, and ensuring you don’t let dirt and grime settle where possible. Try to keep your windows clean and maintained at all times. Another important tip is to ensure you top up your windshield-wiper fluid, and furthermore to ensure the fluid you choose is appropriate for the winter months.
We hope these tips have helped you to consider how to care for your vehicle and stay safe in the winter months. If you enjoyed this blog or you learnt something new, please feel free to share this post with your friends and family. Stay safe and warm this winter, from the team at Sunshine Toyota!