Autumn is upon us, which unfortunately means some parts of Australia will soon be saying goodbye to blue skies, and hello to chillier weather.
As the darker, damper weather arrives, drivers on our roads need to take extra caution. If you’re taking an Australian hire car out on the roads this autumn, here are five tips for driving in wet weather:
When the road is wet, it takes longer for you for to stop when you break. Control can also become harder when water mixes with the grit and oil on the road, causing things to get slippery. To avoid aquaplaning when braking, reduce your speed in the rain.
Drive in the tracks
A good way to reduce the risk of skidding is to minimise the amount of water between your tires and the road. By driving in the tracks left behind by the car in front, you can take advantage of their water displacement to make your own trip safer. Just remember to keep your distance to account for the extra time you will take to stop when braking.
In wet and cold weather, having a car full of people, and therefore body heat, can cause your windows to fog up, reducing visibility.
To avoid staring at the traffic through a fog, use your air conditioning as a de-mister on both the front and back windows.
Use your low-beams
Whether it’s day or night, wet weather should mean you have your low-beam headlights on. During the day, this makes you more visible even when the world around you is grey and overcast. At night, low-beams are better, as high beam headlights are more likely to reflect back on the raindrops and reduce your field of vision.
Avoid unsealed roads
While you may be tempted to explore the outback, try to stick to the roads during periods of bad weather. Unsealed roads are more likely to have hidden potholes, water cover and sticky mud.
Choose the well-beaten path to avoid having to call out a 24 hour road service to pull your hire car out of the mud this autumn.