Tips for keeping safe on winter roads

While the winds of winter don't bring much snow or ice to Australia, there are still a number of dangers that your drivers need to be aware of when Jack Frost rolls around.

Mostly, it's important to bring vehicles up to speed and ensure that all drivers are aware of the risks. In many cases, something as simple as failing to adequately slow down over a patch of ice could lead to a severe crash.

Take a look at our list below to keep your drivers safe on winter roads.

Beware of black ice

This is perhaps the greatest hidden danger during winter, largely due to the fact that it's quite difficult to spot. In winter, water builds up in a thin sheet on roads - usually in the shade of trees or a cliff, forming a slick surface that's nearly invisible to drivers.

Julia Lee, the National Director of AARP Driver Safety explained the phenomenon to AccuWeather.

"It's called black ice because it tends to look like the rest of the pavement on the road, but it's actually clear," she said.

"The biggest danger [with black ice] is that you are at the mercy of your vehicle and the ice until your car passes over it."

Once a car hits this sheet of ice, the tyres lose grip and the driver can very easily lose control. It's not hard to see how this could lead to a pretty severe accident.

Drivers need to always drive slower on roads - especially after rainfall. What's more, it's important that they take extra precautions around corners.

Watch out for weather changes

This is quite similar to our above point, but it needs to be mentioned. While freak summer weather often means a rain shower, winter weather can mean hail, heavy rain and high winds. This is common around coastal areas, and can blow over trucks.

It's also a major issue if drivers breakdown at night, as the weather can make it difficult to reach safety due to the temperatures.

The solution? Planning journeys to make sure that drivers know where they can stop overnight, and a charged cellphone to call for assistance if necessary.

Winterise vehicles

We've covered this in our previous winter driving article, but again it's important for drivers to take note. Cars act differently in winter, and not just how they handle on roads. Oil doesn't handle cold weather very well, and tyres can expand or contract based on temperature. Antifreeze also needs to be checked regularly to keep the cooling system at the right temperature.

The winter season isn't too far away, and it's likely that it will creep up on many drivers. As always, it's important to start thinking about these changing road conditions now, and what you need to pass along to your drivers to keep them safe.