Driving in the Snow
To make your trip to the snow safe and enjoyable here are a few tips to remember before setting off.
A thorough inspection of your vehicle is the first step for a trouble-free holiday. The checking of tyres, battery, brakes, cooling system, engine and windscreen are essential. Your car should be in top condition. In case of an emergency carry a torch, blanket and first aid kit. If your plan is to leave early in the morning it's important to get a good nights sleep. If you're driving at night it's equally important that you feel fresh and alert for your trip. Avoid drinking alcohol, as even one drink can cause drowsiness.
You will also need to arrange snow chains for your vehicle either before you leave or on your journey down as they are compulsory for all two wheel drive vehicles and recommended for four wheel drive vehicles in “snow/ice risk areas”. Snow chains can be hired at any major service station in Cooma, or at Admac Signs & Stuff on the highway in Tumut.
Ensure you're comfortable fitting snow chains to your vehicle before you arrive at the snow. If you are hiring chains, get the store attendant to give you a demonstration and have a practise fitting them before you leave. It is also important to make sure that they are the correct chains for your vehicle. Fitting chains can often be a wet and muddy job so carrying a sheet of plastic to kneel on is a good idea.
Fitting Snow Chains
Make sure you're comfortable with fitting snow chains to your vehicle when and where you rent them.
Place the hoops without levers over the tyres. Carefully drive forward or backward a 1/4 of the road wheel.
Reach behind tyre and hook up inner hoop as tightly as possible.
Place chain over lever and tighten, hook keeper over end of end lever. Slip any excess chain over lever.
Stop after a few metres and re-tighten chains as necessary. Loose chains can cause damage to your vehicle. Remember once you are clear of the snow and ice areas remove chains from the vehicle.
Ice & Snow Driving
Extreme mountain weather and slippery road conditions make driving in the snow demanding.
When driving in conditions such as ice and snow proceed with caution and adjust your speed accordingly. In "snow/ice risk areas", snow chains, by law, must be fitted if instructed by the NPWS or Police Officers. If conditions deteriorate slow down and leave plenty of space between your vehicle and the one in front to cope with any driving difficulties. Driving in the snow can often cause tiredness particularly when conditions demand a high level of concentration. Remember be patient and enjoy your trip - the snow isn't going anywhere in a hurry so why should you.
When driving after dusk watch out for our native wildlife as they frequently cross roads. Observe the signpostings indicating native wildlife presence in the area.
This information was provided by: Snow Safe, RTA, Federal and NSW Police, NPWS & Selwyn Snowfields.