Drive safe tips

Respect the conditions. If they’re bad and you don’t have to make that trip, then don’t.

The biggest thing is to make sure that your car has tyres suitable for the conditions. Don’t try and run on summer tyres in snowy conditions – it’s incredibly dangerous and not worth the risk unless you have chains.

If you’re making a downhill snow descent, it’s important that you are in low gear, and using the engine braking to slow and assist because as soon as you start to brake on a steep hill, the wheels will lock up and then you’ll slide even faster.

In snow and ice driving, you always need to know where your front wheels are pointing. Look ahead, predict the traffic and your surroundings.

Hand positioning is important: when cornering, hold the steering wheel in a quarter to three position. It’s balanced and there is always one hand going up and always one hand going down. And two hands as much as you can.

The height of the seat is important. You should easily be able to see over the steering wheel.

Bring the seat forward so that the leg bent when braking, even in full brake. If your leg is straight you’ve got no more leverage to push hard on your brakes.

The backrest should be nice and upright. Lying back might look cool but you’ll find that you might be steering the car with your whole body and your reaction is so much slower.

Advanced driving programmes like the Audi Ice Experience as well as at Taupo and Hampton Downs offer a chance to learn some extra skills and the limitations of a car.

Wear your seatbelt at all times.

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Toyota Hybrids pass five million sold mark

The most popular Toyota hybrid vehicle has been its Prius series, accounting for 70 per cent of the total sold. 2012 was the biggest year for the hybrid model; with 1.2 million hybrids sold, it was the first year that the million hybrid sale mark was superseded around the world.

Assisted by government subsidies and tax incentives due to its low environmental impact, roughly 17 per cent of vehicles sold in Japan in 2012 were hybrids.

Meanwhile, Toyota and Lexus, (Toyota’s luxury brand) sold 678,000 hybrids, contributing to three-quarters of the total hybrids sold.

The US only contributed to three pre cent of total global Toyota hybrid sales, selling just 327,000 hybrids, with China old 17,300.

Europe is still the most popular market for hybrids, where diesel engines dominate. But in emerging markets, the vehicle is still an expensive choice because they are usually imported and use mainly imported parts.

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