News: Typhoon Motors ensures station residents' safety
Story by Lance Cpl. Charles Clark
IWAKUNI, Japan - The Auto Skills Center hosted a snow chain instruction and safety class, which taught station residents how to properly put snow chains on their vehicle’s tires here Jan. 18.
The Auto Skills Center, located across from the north side seven day store, is a place where station residents can clean or fix their vehicles. During winter, snow chains serve an important role in saving lives and preventing vehicle damage. Snow chains are used when roads are icy or snow-covered to keep vehicles from losing traction and sliding out of control.
“In a lot of places in Japan during the winter, if you don’t have snow chains either with you or on your tires, you’ll get pulled over,” said Patrick D. McDonnell, Auto Skills Center recreation attendant. “We make sure station residents are safe year-round and won’t get unnecessary tickets.”
Classes are held and regulations have been set to ensure driver safety and vehicle passengers during heavy snowfall or extremely icy conditions. Station residents who enjoy snowboarding, skiing and other winter activities often use the Typhoon Motors Car Rental located next door to the Auto Skills Center to drive to the mountains during the winter holidays.
Typhoon Motors Car Rental’s 48 cars have their own set of snow chains, and the Typhoon Motors Car Rental associates ensure the
station residents know how to put the snow chains on the tires even if the renter has taken the class given by the Auto Skills Center.
“Every four-day-weekend and holiday all of our cars get rented,” said Jocilina Sindec, Typhoon Motors Car Rental operations assistant.
“Forty eight extra vehicles on the road during dangerous conditions could mean possible accidents. We do our best to help station residents stay safe on the road, but it is really up to the driver to maintain their personal safety, the safety of the passengers and the vehicle.”
Whoever puts the snow chains on the tires must make sure they are properly secured or else it could create a dangerous situation.
Snow chains could cause damage to the car if put on improperly.
The undercarriage and tire could be damaged if the snow chain came undone while driving.
“Not only can snow chains cause damage to the body of the car but the handling too,” said Juan Velazquez, Auto Skills Center manager. “If you lose control of your vehicle on those slick roads in the mountains, then you could be in serious trouble.”
The Auto Skills Center holds the snow chain instruction and safety class every Wednesday from noon to 1 p.m.