Winter is Coming - 10 Tips for Winter Driving

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Winter driving is different from the other seasons. IN southern Ontario we face the challenges of wind, snow, ice and freezing rain in the winter. We have long nights and short days. It’s cold out. This all makes driving a challenge.

I am going to list 10 tips to make your winter driving safer.

  1. Snow tires. Two words, four wheels always. They cost more than having just one set of all season tires but they extend the life of those tires. They are made of softer rubber and are ‘stickier’ on snow and ice increasing your ability to maneuver and stop on ice/snow covered roads. Insurance companies give you a discount for having them. ¾ of Ontario drivers are reported to have made the commitment to the safety they offer. Put them on when temperatures fall below 8’C.
  2. Have a winter emergency kit with some traction device (sand or cat litter), shovel, hat, gloves, booster cables, wiper fluid, candles, a safety vest and some food and drink.
  3. Check the road conditions before you head out. Check them often if you are on a longer road trip as weather can change quickly. If you are going outside the GTA you can end up on less travelled roads.
  4. Add distance between you and the cars ahead of you. It takes much longer to slow down.
  5. SLOW DOWN.
  6. Stay well back from snow plows. They kick up a lot of sand and salt and chunks of ice. They can also throw up enough snow that you won’t be able to see. Don’t pass the plow.
  7. Clear your car off of snow and ice BEFORE you start driving.
  8. Keep your gas tank on the full side.
  9. DO NOT use cruise control on slippery roads.
  10. Don’t drive when the police advise against it.