With the snow season officially opening this weekend, RACV is urging Victorians to prioritise safety on the roads as driving conditions can become more dangerous during winter.
Over the coming months, weather conditions are more likely to change frequently resulting in wet, icy and foggy roads, making it harder to see, stop and navigate.
RACV General Manager Automotive Services Jackie Pedersen said it was imperative that motorists took a safety-first mindset to work together to reverse the tragic trend of lives lost on Victorian roads in 2023.
As at 8 June, Victoria’s road toll now sits at 140 lives lost on the year to date – up 35.9 per cent from last year. This is the highest number at this stage of the year since 2018.
“Even one life lost on our roads is too many – it’s why we need to take our responsibility to drive safely seriously,” Ms Pedersen said.
“Victorians will know all too well that weather conditions – and driving conditions – can change quickly, so it’s vital to plan ahead wherever possible.”
RACV has posted six tips for safe driving in winter conditions:
1. Slow down - travel just a little slower, even on roads you know well.
2. Keep an eye on the weather - Be aware of changed conditions and heed any weather warnings particularly when travelling in areas where extreme weather is more common.
3. Maintain a safe breaking distance - it takes much longer to stop in the wet, so extend the distance between you and the car in front to at least four seconds.
4. Take care of your vehicle - ensure your car’s safety equipment, windscreen wipers, batteries, lights, and brakes are working correctly.
5. Check your tyres - Tyres must have plenty of tread depth (no less than 1.5 millimetres) and no damage.
6. When in doubt, pull over – it is never worth the risk to drive in conditions you’re even the slightest bit unsure of.
“Motorists also need to keep pedestrians, cyclists and motorcycles at the forefront of their minds - they are much more difficult to see in low visibility conditions,” Ms Pedersen said.
RACV has published tips for safe driving in snowy and icy conditions, with remembering specialised snow chains topping the list.
“Snow chains are a must-have when heading to the snow and you should make sure you test-fit them before you leave,” Ms Pedersen said.
For more information on road safety and driving and maintenance tips, visit the RACV website.
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