When the cold weather kicks in and we all wake up to morning temperatures of minus eight degrees, you can only imagine how dangerous the roads can become. As well as having the Australian wildlife to be aware of as you’re driving from Jindabyne to Perisher or the Skitube, there can be also ice, snow and fog thrown into the mix.
We sat down with Dean Herridge, Subaru Ambassador and expert driver, to get his top tips for driving safely in the alpine region, and also how to best look after your car in these different conditions.
When you wake up in the morning, you may find a nice layer of frost (or sometimes ice and snow) on your car. This may sound simple, but it’s important to make sure that you can see everything around you and to spend the extra five minutes removing everything from your windows.
Use the car’s demister and a scraper to get rid of any frost or ice, but avoid using hot water, as you don’t want to crack your windscreen. Dean’s tip: Unless you’re parking for a short time, it’s a good idea to lift the wipers off your windscreen to avoid them sticking to the glass.
It’s definitely a fun sight to see the car covered in snow, but we strongly recommend not driving with it like this. The snow can start to move or slide around when the car heats up, and the last thing you want is snow blocking your view when you’re trying to drive.
Carrying chains is something that’s super important, as conditions in the Snowy Mountains can change at the drop of a hat. It’s a good idea to practice fitting chains before kicking off your trip; there is nothing worse than trying to figure out how they work in the freezing cold weather. Remember, all two-wheel drive vehicles entering the Kosciuszko National Park must carry snow chains in winter.
Before you start the drive up the hill, it’s important to warm up your engine for a few minutes, and it also gives you some time to warm up when you’re in the car.
When you’re making your way up here, it’s important to use your headlights or fog lights to increase your viability to other drivers. Dean’s Tip: we can understand you’re excited to get to the snow, but it’s important everyone arrives there safely. Keep a safe distance between you and the car in front and use your gears when possible to slow down.
It’s also really important that if you drive into some ice on the road and your car starts to skid, we recommend you try and steer it in the direction you want the car to go – definitely avoid slamming on the brakes.
We hope these quick tips help you arrive here safely to enjoy the snow & we’ll see you in Perisher soon!