Slippery roads, torrential rain and heavy fog are just some of the culprits for winter road crashes, and while you can't control the conditions, the Bay of Plenty Regional Council is proving you can take control of your safety.
Teaming up with the NZ Transport Agency, Rotorua Lakes Council and Waiariki Bay of Plenty Polytech, a Pit Stop was recently held to empower drivers with the simple skills to give their vehicle a quick TWIRL inspection (tyres, windscreen, indicators, rust, lights) to ensure it's safe before getting on the road.
Transport Agency certification officer, Andrew Lister said winter was such a critical time to ensure your vehicle was safe, due to the hazardous weather conditions.
"It's the driver's responsibility to ensure their vehicle is safe. Giving your vehicle a TWIRL is as simple as walking around it to check the tyres, windscreen, indicators, rust and lights - anyone can do it.
"A lot of vehicle issues go unnoticed when driving around town, but can become a major hazard on the open road, putting yourself and others at risk.
"It's good practice to give your vehicle a TWIRL once every three months, and also before you go on a big trip," he said.
The recent Pit Stop was the third in Rotorua this winter and was held at the Waiariki Bay of Plenty Polytech Automotive Retail Workshop.
Waiariki Bay of Plenty Polytech automotive engineering lecturer Scott Hearn got on board to give his automotive students real life inspection training, and to expose Waiariki students to the initiative.
"Enthusiasm on the day was high and we had had six students completing the TWIRL inspections. It was a great opportunity for our students to gain experience, and equally for the students and the public to learn about vehicle safety.
"A lot of people, particularly first-time vehicle owners, don't know the ins and outs of their vehicle, so having students involved in the Pit Stop was a great idea. It was also really timely now that warrant of fitness inspection requirements have been extended.
"While a warrant of fitness inspection is a thorough check of a vehicle, it only ensures its safety at the time - there's a long period where things can go unnoticed so it's vital to do a check yourself.
"A TWIRL is a quick and easy precaution to take between inspections - it takes two to five minutes and if you do find something you're unsure of, take it to a mechanic to check out - you could be saving a life," Mr Hearn said.
· Windscreen, wipers and mirrors,
To see a video on how to conduct a TWIRL yourself click here.