It's the official start of ski season and VicRoads is reminding drivers of the challenges involved with driving in alpine areas.
If you’re headed to our ski fields, check the road conditions before you leave by visiting https://traffic.vicroads.vic.gov.au/.
It’s not unusual for roads in alpine areas to close due to unfavourable conditions. You may experience extreme weather, including blizzards, fog and black ice. Make sure your car battery is in good condition and that the air-conditioning system is working properly.
Anti-freeze is recommended in your radiator. Pack your sunglasses for snow glare. Diesel vehicles should fill up with alpine diesel mix which is available at service stations in the alpine area.
You are required to carry snow chains and fit them when directed. Practice fitting chains before your trip and only fit chains to the driving wheels.
Carry a torch, plastic garbage bag and gloves to make fitting easier. You can watch a video on how to fit snow chains here: http://snowsafe.org.au/chain-fitting/
For better control of your vehicle and to prevent damaging the chains, drive at a lower speed and avoid sudden acceleration or braking. Substantial fines apply for not complying with the rules regarding snow chains. Driving in snowy conditions requires a lot of added concentration and patience. Drive cautiously with both hands on the wheel and steady pressure on the accelerator.
Brake with steady pressure and avoid braking when cornering. Engage low gear when you drive down a mountain, and if you hit ice, remain calm and apply the brakes gently to slowly regain traction. In fog or snowy conditions, use fog lights instead of setting your headlights on high beam, if you don’t have fog lights you can use your hazard lights with your headlights on low beam When you arrive at the resort, park only where directed.
Leave the car in gear with the front wheels turned away from the slope. Reverse into a car park or make sure you can drive out forward. Poor vision makes reversing out of car parks dangerous. Put your wiper blades up to avoid them freezing to the windscreen. If you have a manual car leave it in a gear that would allow you to drive out of the car park.
Please, be patient and show respect and courtesy to your fellow road users.
If you see any hazards on our roads, please report them to the VicRoads Traffic Management Centre on 13 11 70 (open 24/7). In an emergency call Triple Zero (000).