Winter Driving

Linkedin

Winter is here and with the first snow of the season reviewing winter driving tips is always a good idea.

Winter driving is not like summer driving. Roads are often snow and ice-covered and slick. Using winter tires can help you gain some control in snow and ice and shorten your stopping distances but what we all need to do is exercise caution on the roads.

Get Ready for Winter

  • Always keep your gas tank at least half full to prevent condensation and reduce moisture in the fuel system. It also adds some weight to your car.
  • Keep a winter survival kit in the car. It should include:
    • Your charged phone and charging cable
    • Winter boots
    • A shovel
    • A blanket, mitts and hat
    • A high viz vest
    • Jumper cables
    • Some non-perishable food, a cup, candles, and lighter or matches
    • Sand or traction mats

Winter Tires:

  • Winter tires are softer and have larger treads that give you more traction on snow and ice
  • They help you stay in control and can shorten braking distances
  • You may be eligible for an auto insurance rebate – call your broker or agent
  • Install four winter tires, NEVER mix summer and winter tires
  • Check the pressure regularly as temperatures fall – cold weather causes pressure to decrease in the tires

Studded Tires:

  • If your vehicle is registered in northern Ontario studded tires are legal. In some parts of the country, they are required
  • They are NOT allowed for use in southern Ontario unless you are visiting from the north

Driving in Winter Weather:

  • Check the road conditions on Ontario511 and weather forecast before you leave the house. You can see real-time accidents and plow positions
  • Clear all snow and ice off your car
  • SLOW DOWN on the roads
  • Anticipate ice and snow
  • DO NOT use cruise control on wet, snowy or icy pavement surfaces
  • Allow more space between you and other vehicles
  • Stay alert. If conditions deteriorate turn off the radio and eliminate other distractions
  • See and be seen – keep your lights on, if conditions are dangerous and you slow down use your four-way flasher, in dangerous weather pull over where it is safe to do so, turn on your interior lights and four-way flashers.

Snowplows:

  • Stay well back as they throw up snow and ice and spread liquid, sand and salt 
  • NEVER PASS a working snowplow
  • Be patient and thankful they are clearing the road for your travels. They travel in set routes and you’ll rarely be behind one for more than 30 minutes.