Often, those outside of Australia might think that the sun shines 365 days a year here – but this isn’t the case. In fact, with hot summers and cold winters, Australia can experience some extreme weather conditions. As a driver, you need to become familiar with the different types of weather and learn how to drive in them safely.
Regardless of your experience, it’s important to be ready for all kinds of weather before getting on the road. Make sure that your car is roadworthy and well-maintained, and take the necessary precautions for each season. Here’s what you need to know about driving safely in Australia’s extreme weather conditions:
Australia’s summer can be hot and dry, so it’s important to look out for bushfires. Be aware of any warnings, such as Total Fire Bans, and adjust your driving accordingly. Avoid parking in dry vegetation, and keep an eye out for large smoke plumes on the horizon.
Although it might sound odd, be prepared for sudden storms too. Heavy rain can make roads very slippery and reduce visibility – if it starts to rain heavily or thunderstorms approach, pull over somewhere safe until conditions improve. If you’re driving on unsealed roads, watch out for deep puddles that could damage your car.
Winter in Australia can be very cold and wet (you don’t need us to tell you!). Snowfall is rare but can occur in some parts of the country – if it does, make sure you know how to drive in the snow before setting off. Slow down as much as possible, as it can take longer to stop in icy conditions.
Ice is also a major concern when driving in winter. Always give yourself plenty of time to warm up your car before getting on the road – this way, you can make sure that your windows are free from fog and frost and you won’t have to rush while scraping away ice. If you’re buying a new vehicle from Cars4Us in Noosa, look for one that suits the weather here.
Spring and Autumn
Though they often get ignored, spring and autumn come with their own challenges. In spring, heavy storms can cause flash flooding and strong winds, so keep an eye on weather forecasts and be ready to take the necessary precautions if needed.
In autumn, meanwhile, there will often be fallen leaves on the ground that could make roads slippery. To stay safe in these conditions, slow down and pay extra attention to what’s ahead of you. Be prepared for sudden changes in the weather – and make sure that your tyres are up to date too.
Why Your Choice of Vehicle is Important
When it comes to driving safely in all kinds of weather, the type of car you’re driving can make all the difference. SUVs and 4x4s are generally better equipped for hazardous conditions, but even smaller cars can perform well if they have good tyres, good brakes and adequate traction control.
If you’re looking for a new vehicle, think about where you live and how you plan to use it. All-wheel drive cars are a good option if you want a combination of power and agility – these can provide the extra traction that’s needed for slippery surfaces or icy roads.