Winter Driving Safety
As the province begins to reopen after a six week stay at home order, more of us will be heading back to work and driving more in general than we have been in recent weeks. While we all know that Canadian winters demand more care in driving, it never hurts to have a refresher.
Here are a few tips for driving safely this winter.
1. Remove ice and snow from your vehicle
Driving safely in winter conditions begins before you even actually get in your vehicle. Before you take off on the road, be sure to remove all of the ice and snow from your vehicle’s windows, hood, roof, mirrors and lights. Ice and snow on your car not only interfere with your own ability to see other vehicles and hazards on the road, but it can also fly off your vehicle and cause an accident for another driver.
2. Consider getting winter tires
Winter tires allow you to have more control while driving on ice-and-snow covered roads because of their deep treads. In addition, they even allow you to have more control on dry roads in colder temperatures. Winter tires are made of a special rubber that doesn’t harden the way all-season tires do when the temperature drops below 7 degrees Celsius.
In fact, winter tires provide so much additional safety, that many auto insurance policies provide a discount if you use winter tires.
Winter conditions make it necessary to do a little extra planning. If the roads are snow covered, plan to give yourself a little extra time to get to your destination. If possible, plan to take the main roads since these are more likely to have been ploughed than back streets.
3. Plan ahead and slow down
Remember, that you will need more time to stop on slippery roads, so adjust your speed according to the conditions and give yourself space between your vehicle and the one ahead of you.
During the winter, ice and snow can make the roads more slippery which means that you will need to have a higher degree of control in order to stay safe. You should never slam on the brakes in icy conditions. Most cars today have an anti-lock braking (ABS) system which will pump the brakes for you when you brake normally on icy roads. If you don’t have ABS in your car, you will have to pump the brakes manually which is still much safer than slamming on them abruptly.
4. Stay composed and in control when driving on icy or snowy roads.
If your car has a standard transmission, downshifting on the gears can also help you slow down more quickly. This is especially helpful if you are going down a slippery hill.
You should also avoid accelerating or hitting the brakes when you go around corners. If you find yourself sliding on a corner, ease your foot off the gas and steer into the direction that you wish to go.
If there is a really bad snowstorm or freezing rain, consider whether you need to get behind the wheel at all. Ask yourself whether the trip can wait until the bad weather has passed – or if you need to work, whether your employer might allow you to work from home that day.
5. Avoid driving in really bad conditions if possible.
If you absolutely must go out in bad conditions, remember the tips above, stay alert, and take it slow.
While following proper safe winter driving protocols is the most important thing you can do to stay safe while on the roads this winter, it is also important to have the right insurance in place. To speak with one of our agents about auto insurance, contact us today.
Contact ICD Insurance today