Weather gone wild: What to do if you're driving during a storm

Where Can I Find the VIN (Vehicle Identification Number)?

The vehicle identification number (VIN) is composed of 17 characters (digits and capital letters) that act as a unique identifier for the vehicle. A VIN displays the car's unique features, specifications and manufacturer.

The VIN can be found in a couple of places including on the car's registration label (1), on the compliance plate in the engine bay (2) or on the passenger side windshield (3), or on one of the door posts (where the door latches when it is closed) (4). See the image below:

Look for the VIN in these other locations:

  • Insurance card/Insurance policy
  • Vehicle title and registration certificate

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8 Nov 16

Australia is no stranger to a storm or two. Though we're well-known for seasons of bushfires, heatwaves and droughts, we're still prone to torrential rains from the sky.

A storm can appear out of the blue, and that includes while we are driving. If you're out on the road and are stuck in a windy downpour, what can you do? Here are a few tips.

Keep some emergency supplies in your car

You'd be surprised how many people don't actually do this, but in the case that you're stranded a long distance from any civilisation, emergency supplies could possibly save your life. Whether a storm, cyclone or even your car breaking down, a few snacks and a bottle of water could stop you from becoming dehydrated or getting hungry.

Above all, a first aid kit could be the most useful thing you keep in your car. Hopefully you'll never need it, but it's better to be safe than sorry!

Drive to the conditions

When in doubt, slow down. With heavy rain comes impaired vision, wet roads and even potential fog. Maintaining a wider distance between you and the car in front can reduce chances of an accident!

Even if you can see clearly through the rain, other drivers may not have the same clarity. Turn your headlights on, and any fog lights if necessary, to improve the safety of everyone on the roads. Tyres are more likely to skid in wet weather, so ease off the accelerator, and make sure you know how your car responds in the rain.

Make sure your car is roadworthy

This doesn't just apply to all the necessary safety checks that your vehicle needs to pass. Your tyres need to have enough tread to grip the roads, and windscreen wipers should clear the glass effectively. If you're looking at buying a second-hand car, a physical inspection is always the best bet to ensure you're not investing in a lemon. Getting a CarHistory report can also help you make an informed decision.

Stop and shelter if possible

Knowing when to pull over and take shelter is sometimes the best decision you can make.

To ensure you get to your destination safely, stop and take shelter, out of the reach of extreme weather. Find a building, such as a cafe or library where you can stay safe and have something to do whilst waiting out the storm. Knowing when to pull over and take shelter can save you from battling strong winds on the road, and is sometimes the best decision you can make.

It's also handy to know the phone number of your insurance company and roadside assistance in the case you do get into a pickle. Hopefully it doesn't come to that, but like any emergency, preparation can go a long way.

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