Top tips for safe driving in winter weather
The diverse South African weather ensures that winter driving can be challenging with road conditions that can range from cold and dry to icy, and in the Cape region, soaking wet.
The experts at Tiger Wheel & Tyre caution motorists to be aware that each season has its own challenges on the road and to be aware of this when driving in extreme weather.
Keep these tips in mind to be ready:
Have the car battery tested - and replaced if necessary. Winter places a lot of strain on tired batteries. So don’t get stranded - get the jump on a dying battery and replace it before it lets you down. Get your automotive battery tested for free at your nearest Tiger Wheel & Tyre store.
Replace windshield wipers. These can wear especially fast in the summer due to sunlight. You want to be prepared for winter rainstorms in the Cape region, or even the odd snow flurry if you call the mountains home.
Check the tyre pressure after the first cold snap and regularly thereafter. Cold weather adversely affects tyre pressure and there could be a dramatic drop in tyre pressure during the first cold spell.
Pack an emergency breakdown kit to keep in the boot. Include a space blanket, water, non-perishable snacks, a torch, and a car cellphone charger.
Keep a spare pair of sunglasses in the cubbyhole. Winter sun is no joke and it can be impossible to drive in its blinding glare. That ugly pair of shades Aunt Mavis gave you is perfect to stow in your car in case you leave your stylish pair at home. Top tips for driving in ice and snow:
Turn headlights and fog lights on, engage a lower gear to increase road traction, increase your following distance, drive very slowly, and don’t brake suddenly.
When driving in very wet conditions, turn your headlights on, drive slowly and increase the following distance.
If your vehicle slides on ice or in the wet, remember: don’t over-correct by steering in the opposite direction to where it is sliding. Instead, take your foot off the brake and steer lightly in the direction of the slide until the vehicle regains traction, then steer in the opposite direction while gently accelerating.
Above all, be patient and polite on the road. Life is too short to be the aggressor or the victim of road rage - winter road conditions can be challenging enough on their own.
Courtesy of Tiger Wheel & Tyre