... driving in fog
And according to the ‘Moon Man’, the chills and challenges of this season will be here sooner rather than later. Being prepared for Winter means having chains on hand for your vehicle to deal with the road conditions. If you have some in your possession, it’s time to not only have them checked, but also time to practice putting them on. Ideally getting to know your vehicles’ chains before you are faced with kneeling in the snow amidst the pressure of getting home or to pick up the children is the ultimate! Take the time to practice putting them on your vehicle’s tyres at home so you are confident about fitting them correctly when the time arrives. Different makes and styles of chains have their own method of fitting so it is important to be familiar with the task AND to follow the manufacturer’s instruction. For many – it’s time to purchase some in readiness for the snowy and icy days ahead. Shotover Engineering on Glenda Drive stock two types of chains and will find something to fit also any vehicle. When shopping for chains, it pays to consider the following: Where are you driving? What chains fit your vehicle? How easy are the chains to fit? At Shotover Engineering, they provide an additional service where each set of chains sold are fitted to the vehicle to double check they are the correct size and the customer is shown how to correctly fit their chains. While the price of chains can seem prohibitive to some people, the peace of mind that they offer (not to mention the cost of the insurance excess or the panelbeater’s bill) fades in comparison. Don’t get caught – prepare for the upcoming season early. Shotover Engineering is the longest serving engineering workshop in the Wakatipu Basin and stocks a wide variety of spare snow chain parts. The workshop also carries out repairs to snowchains. Care of your chains:
Fasten any loose chain with clips or rubber bungies. This prevents damage and then if you hear chain flapping loose, you know to stop and check!
When stopping to check, adjust or remove your chains, always be considerate to other road users and stop in a safe place.
When removing chains stop with the fasteners at the top of your wheel where they are easy to access. Then drop the chain off and away from the wheel and move the vehicle off the chain. Don’t forget to pick your chains up………
Driving on exposed tar seal drastically reduces the life of your chains. It can be unavoidable at times but try not to drive for long on cleared roads and reduce your speed. It is a good idea to hang your chains up to dry after each use, check them over for wear/tear or damage. Put them back in your vehicle Slow down gradually and drive at a speed that suits the conditions. Keep your windows and mirrors clean. Find out how to use your air conditioning, defroster, ice scraper and wipers to maximize your vision. Use your headlights on low beam. High beams reflect off the moisture droplets in the fog, making it harder to see. Use road markings to help guide you. Use the left edge of the road as a guide, rather than the centre line. Increase your following distance. You will need extra distance to brake safely. Look and listen for any hazards that may be ahead. Reduce the distractions in your vehicle. For example, turn off the music and the cell phone…your full attention is required. Be patient. Avoid passing, changing lanes and crossing traffic. If the fog is too dense to continue, pull completely off the road & try to position your vehicle in an area protected from traffic. Turn on your hazard lights. Don’t stop on the travelled portion of the road. You could become the first link in a chainreaction collision. Don’t speed up suddenly, even if the fog seems to be clearing. You could find yourself suddenly back in fog. Don’t speed up to pass a vehicle moving slowly or to get away from a vehicle that is following too closely.