Stay safe when driving in alpine regions this winter.
With daylight savings gone, winter is just around the corner, meaning shorter days and more hazardous driving conditions, especially in the alpine regions of the southern states of Australia. Drivers planning trips through these areas should plan ahead and consider the ever-changing weather and road conditions.
While it is advisable to drive more cautiously on all roads during winter, safely navigating alpine regions can involve coping with more extreme weather such as blizzards, fog and black ice. When visiting any alpine resorts, drivers are required to always carry snow chains and fit them if directed by authorities.
Other handy tips include:
- checking your tyre pressures and tread depths
- checking that all your external lights are working
- checking your battery and charging system is in good condition
- checking for anti-freeze in your radiator
- packing an ice scraper and sunglasses for snow glare.
To avoid getting into trouble on the mountain, always fill up your fuel tank prior to entering alpine regions if stopping overnight. Service stations in these areas will have alpine diesel mix available, and remember to make sure you have enough fuel for the entire journey.
Before you head off, check for black ice warnings on the relevant road authority websites or apps. Black ice generally forms at night time, in the early mornings or on sections of the roads that haven’t been exposed to sunlight i.e. roads under tree cover.
If possible, try to avoid icy conditions. If you must drive, allow plenty of time, slow down, be patient and drive to the conditions, even if your truck is equipped with Electronic Stability Control (ESC) if possible.
Driving in snowy conditions requires a lot of concentration and patience. Stay calm if you’re stuck in traffic delays and always follow road signs and directions given by alpine resort staff; they are there for your safety.