Australia, Sydney in particular, is lucky enough to have reasonably stable weather, at least in regards to driving. European countries have to contend with seasonal snow and other fluctuating conditions. Australians only have to deal with this if they are vacationing in Thredbo or visiting North Queensland in the wet season. Nonetheless it helps to have some knowledge of how to deal with difficult road conditions.
Under any conditions the brakes and tyres should be in fully functional condition. The tyres should have tread enough to cover a match-head; 5mm depth is about the minimum. Brakes should respond consistently; have them checked if they start to feel of behave in a different manner.
If you are driving in wet conditions it can sometime help to wear polarized sunglasses. Polarization reduces glare, and glare from wet surfaces can be a visibility issue. If you find it helps, use polarized glasses. Obviously this will be counterproductive in dim light, so use your discretion.
It takes longer for your car to stop in wet conditions; put as much distance between yourself and the next car as possible, and reduce your travel speed.
Drive in the centre lanes if possible. Better roads are constructed so that they are higher in the centre, allowing the water to run off to the sides. As such, the centre lane tends to be less wet, if only slightly.
Turn your headlights on low. This is so other cars travelling in the opposite direction can see you. Don’t use high-beam or you will blind them with the glare.
Travelling through any body of water is too risky to try. Even if another car succeeded it is still a risk. There might well be a pot hole the other car missed, or a heavy 4WD might get away with something that a normal hatchback cannot. Avoid this mistake.
If visibility is too bad, just stop driving. It’s not worth the risk.
Snow, ice or Sleet.
Stop time for your vehicle in snow is even worse than in wet conditions. Put as much distance between yourself and the next vehicle as possible, and travel as slowly as is practical. Consider not traveling at all.
Show chains are a good investment if you have to deal with snow. As snow only occurs in a few remote parts of our country all drivers should be able to predict when the chains are needed.
4WDs are a little better in snow conditions, but not a lot. If the tyres have no traction on the icy road surface there is nothing that is going to help. 4WDs need show chains as much as any car.
Salt, kitty litter or gravel can help tyres grip in some snowy conditions. This is useful if you are stuck, but not if you are traveling any distance. Carry some of these for emergencies.
Always use quality parts for your car, especially for the braking system. Any Australian or European Aftermarket Brake Pads are available from ICER Oceania. We work with every current and recent model of car.