Summer Driving Tips

That’s right, shorts and singlet weather is approaching. Time to drag out the jandals and scrub the BBQ, summer’s on its way.

Hydration is key.

Water, water, water - for your engine, your wipers and of course, you and your passengers. Keep a few spare bottles of water in the car for those long road trips these summer holidays as you never know where you could end up.

Glare.

The long afternoons may be great for a BBQ but aren’t great for driving in the late afternoon with the sun on the horizon. Keep a spare pair of sunglasses in your vehicle in the off chance your expensive Italian knockoffs aren’t available.

Keep the Beers Cold.

If you’re transporting a few cold ones, or you have a few perishables to transport then try putting them in the boot of your vehicle. It’ll keep them a lot cooler than in the hot sun on the back seat.

It’s always a good safety tip to keep all heavy unsecured objects in the boot in the case of an accident. Always remember though, if you’re drinking then don’t drive home. Take a cab or stay the night.

Don’t drink and drive.

You know this, we all know this, yet it continues to happen. If you’re driving home, you don’t drink, it’s that simple. Want a cold drink at the BBQ you’re attending? There are plenty of non-alcoholic wines or beers that will do the trick or simply nominate a sober driver.

Beware Sea and Sand.

Salt water will cause rust and corrosion to your vehicle, something that is not included in fair wear and tear. Park your vehicle as far from the beach as possible and avoid salt water and boat ramps or you could face big additional costs at the end of your lease contract.

J’s off your feet!

Jandals may be the national shoe of summer but it’s best to kick them off before stepping behind the wheel. The loose fitting jandal can get curled up or hooked behind the driving pedals and cause a serious accident.

Although it is not illegal in New Zealand to drive in jandals, we suggest using bare feet instead, or ultimately changing into a pair of shoes with good grip for the ideal driving condition.

Stay off the mobile.

There’s no text you need to read, or call you need to answer that is more important than your life, or the lives of others around you. Don’t be stupid, stay off the mobile while you’re driving, use a hands free device or pull over.

Most people will forgive you for not answering straight away, but you won’t forgive yourself if you cause a serious accident.

Share the Road.

Along with summer comes lycra season. The warmer weather will bring out a lot more runners, cyclists and pedestrians on our roads. So keep an eye out for others and remember to share the road.

Don’t drive tired. With daylight saving comes a long list of activities we try to cram into the long evening. This can lead to unexpected tiredness at the end of the day, don’t try and push through, take a break and recover. A 10 minute nap may be all you need to recoup the energy needed to get you home. If in doubt, pull over and rest.

Fill up early.

With the holidays fast approaching it’s a good idea to fill up one or two days before your big drive to avoid the queues. Service centers often have deals running a few days before the holidays so it could save you in the pocket as well.

If you have any concerns about driving this summer then please contact our support team here at ORIX Support: 0800 506 749.

Winter Driving Tips

When you hear the topic ‘Winter Driving Tips’ most people probably think; it doesn’t snow where I live so it doesn’t matter to me.

Unfortunately, this is the same attitude that has NZ drivers adding to the ever increasing accident statistics each winter. For some of you, snow will actually be a possibility this winter, for others it can be the early evening sun, but the certainty for all New Zealanders this winter is rain. Lots and lots of rain.

So far this year we have already had a storm that cut power to half of Auckland. Who knows what winter yet has in store for us, but you can guarantee there will be heavy and persistent rain. This will then lead to surface flooding, poor visibility, heavy traffic and people making terrible driving decisions.

Of course we know that none of our drivers would ever make a poor driving decision (wink, wink) but there are a few simple things you can do to ensure that when the next drench of rain hits our shores, your vehicle is ready.

Tyre Tread

You have probably heard this one over and again, but you must have a minimum of 1.5mm tyre tread for your tyres to be legal. Please remember that this is the bare minimum and is only one step away from your car not being road legal. The more tread you have the better when it comes to standard tyres.

The reason tread is so important is as you drive down the road your tyre is the only thing gripping and keeping you connected to the road. On a normal sunny day your tyre will grip the tarseal easily and transport you along. But when it rains heavily a layer of water will sit on the road and with good tyre tread this water will pass through the indents, allowing you to maintain a grip on the road whilst the surface water slips through the grooves.

But if your tread is too low the water below your tyres doesn’t have anywhere to go in the short amount of time which you come upon it at speed. This means your tyre will now sit on top of the water, causing your
vehicle to slide, leading to a loss of control and a high chance of an accident.

Heavy Rain & Poor Visibility

As the saying goes, ‘when it rains, it pours’. Torrential rain is a commonly used term from our weather presenter during the winter months. This type of rain comes on in harrowing waves that cause surface flooding and very poor visibility. One minute you’re stuck behind an old hatchback and beside a towering Ute, the next you’re driving along in a curtain of grey hoping no one slams into your rear.

Our best advice in this situation is to ensure your lights are on, drive slowly and if you really can’t see anything, slowly pull over to the side of the road and wait it out.

Window Wipers

One of your best assets for driving in winter is your window wipers - granted heated seats are also a bonus. Every driver needs the ability to cleanly wipe their windscreen without leaving marks or residue that could distort your vision.

Ensure your window wipers are up to scratch, if they aren’t then don’t worry, they are one of the easiest things to change on most vehicles. Simply pop into your franchise dealership, give them the registration and they can source and fit the right blades for you.

It’s a simple task that can save you a lot of hassle this winter. Don’t wait to be caught out in the rain, check them as soon as you can.

Winter Driver Safety Tips
  • Drive to the Conditions.
  • Check your Tyre Tread.
  • Increase your following distance. It can take 3-10 times longer to stop on wet surfaces than on dry roads.
  • Check your Window Wipers.
  • Avoid quick acceleration, hard braking, and fast turns.
  • Drive with your lights on if it’s hard to see, it also helps others see you.

If you have any concerns about driving this winter or simply about the condition of your vehicle then please contact our support team here at ORIX and they can help advise you on the best course of action.

ORIX Support: 0800 506 749