Motorists planning trips to the snow where they may encounter challenging driving conditions have been urged to plan ahead and drive carefully.
VicRoads regional director eastern Scott Lawrence said adjusting driving behaviour during winter was vital to significantly reduce risk.
‘‘Our number one safety tip is that if conditions are dangerous, for example, freezing temperatures, heavy rain or snow, then you should avoid driving if at all possible,’’ Mr Lawrence said.
‘‘If you must drive, then do so cautiously; concentrate, reduce speed, ensure headlights are on and maintain a safe distance from the car in front as in rain it can take twice as much distance to stop.
‘‘But for people heading to the Victorian snowfields, extreme driving conditions might be unavoidable, so it is important that both driver and vehicle are adequately prepared.’’
Mr Lawrence advised ski resort-bound drivers to read VicRoads’ snow and winter driving tips.
He said before setting off, drivers and vehicles should both be prepared; the driver well-rested with the journey planned, and the vehicle in good roadworthy condition.
Snow chains are compulsory for any vehicle entering alpine resorts during the snow season, and can be hired from ski shops before you leave home or in alpine towns before you head up the mountain.
In addition to checking weather forecasts, drivers should check road conditions online at VicTraffic or by downloading the VicTraffic app.
Other tips include checking tyre tread/pressure, making sure lights and battery are working, putting anti-freeze in the radiator, packing an ice scraper and sunglasses for snow glare.
Drivers should fill up fuel tanks before reaching the alpine regions to make sure there is sufficient fuel for the entire journey, which may involve lengthy delays or traffic queues on mountains.
Diesel drivers should fill up with alpine diesel mix from snowfield region service stations to avoid fuel freezing and dual LPG/petrol drivers should switch to petrol before reaching alpine areas.
■More tips and advice on winter and snow condition driving, including fitting snow chains, are available on the VicRoads website at: www.vicroads.vic.gov.au