3 Safety Tips for Driving a Car Rental in Inclimate Weather
When most Americans think or talk about Australia, they conjure up images of clear skies and sunshine. Perhaps it is the thoughts of the famed Australian outback that is responsible for this image, which is not entirely wrong, to be sure. However, just like other countries, the land down under has its fair share of inclement weather days. If you are visiting the country (or any other country) and you encounter bad weather, you should be armed with the 3 tips below on how to drive safely.
Have Good Tires at the Right Pressure
Good tires are a must, especially if you are going to be driving in snow, ice or rainfall. It is extremely difficult even for racing drivers to handle a car with balding tires on slippery roads. In fact, even a thin film of ice on the road can easily cause you to lose control. Many people have been injured on wet roads after losing control on what they believed to be safe roads. You also need to know that a good tire tread is necessary for proper breaking, especially during emergency situations. Generally, a tread depth of at least 6/32'' is advisable for snowy driving. You should also inflate your tires to the correct pressure, since over-inflating or under-inflating tires can also make your vehicle lose traction due to bulging. While some people think that it is alright to under-inflate tires while driving in deep snow to increase traction, the upside is that you will experience reduced mileage and premature wearing of tires.
Have Good Windshield Wipers, and Clean Them Too
If you are driving in a heavy downpour and you have faulty or dirty wipers, you are risking not only your life but the life of other road users. The dirt or water will block your view of the road, and yet windshield wipers only cost a few dollars. In fact, you don't even have to know how to change a wiper to buy one since many auto stores will fix them for you free of charge after purchase. If the weather is projected to be particularly bad, then you should also think about using water and weather repellant treatment products. Just remember that these products are not permanent and will need to be replaced once in a while. Luckily, most of them can be used for two to five months, and your vacation will probably be shorter than that.
Be Alert and Prepared
Although you should always be alert while driving even in good weather, you should be particularly alert and prepared before taking a car out in the road in inclement weather. You should also assume that other road users are not paying as much attention as you (this is called defensive driving), meaning it is up to you to prevent any mishaps. Put a good distance between you and other automobiles, and be prepared to make split-second decisions when others suddenly misbehave in front or behind your car. Note that despite your best preparations, you may be stranded on the road. This means you should be armed with an emergency car kit, which you can either make or buy. Water, cell phone, emergency charger, food and flashlight are some of the things that you must include in your emergency kit.
A useful but general tip while driving in inclement weather is to use your common sense. While the three tips above can save you from a lot of trouble, or even save your life, you should not drive in bad weather unless it is absolutely necessary. Even professional racing drivers find bad weather problematic, and have to prepare their cars accordingly. Therefore, you should be extra careful while driving in bad weather.
Elizabeth Bailey is an avid blogger that loves for car vacations. She usually shares her tips and knowledge on driving blogs. Visit Expedia Australia for car rental information.