Every year, our Canadian winters bring environmental-related driving threats. In 2017, nearly 30 percent of collisions reported, happened on wet, snowy, or icy roads. (RCMP, 2019). If you are planning on making a trip during high-risk conditions, please consider changing your travel plans until there are improvements. It is important to be aware of winter driving tips during these months to ensure the safety of you and your family. Read below for important safety precautions.
Prepare your vehicle for winter conditions
- Install winter tires on your vehicle. They provide better traction under snowy and/or icy conditions.
- Keep a snow brush/scraper in your car. Ensure your vehicle is properly cleared of snow and ice before driving (mirrors, windows, top of your vehicle).
- Keep items such as a lightweight shovel, battery jumper cables and a flashlight in your vehicle in case of emergency
Drive slow and cautiously
- Driving too quickly in snowy or icy conditions is the main cause of winter collisions. Make sure you drive slowly and adjust your speed to the conditions.
- Do not make any sudden stops or turns while driving. This can result in loss of control or skidding.
- Always avoid tailgating, especially during the winter months. A safe following distance is to leave two care lengths of room in front of you.
Brake before turning
- Before making a turn, be sure to brake slowly to reduce your speed. Check for any oncoming vehicles. Once clear, you can turn the corner and accelerate again.
Control possible skidding
- In the event of vehicle skidding, ensure your turn into the skid and accelerate. This will help to regain control of your vehicle.
- Always keep your vehicle’s lights on, no matter the condition. This will increase your visibility to other motorists.
- Do not use cruise control during snowy, icy, or wet conditions. You may lose control of your vehicle because of your car’s hydroplanes.
Avoid “pumping” the brakes
- If your vehicle has an ABS system, do not “pump” the brakes. Instead, apply constant pressure.
- Avoid distractions as manoeuvres are more difficult to make in the snow.
Winter driving safety is very extremely to our team at The Insurance Market and can result in serious injury or in some cases, death. Please review and be mindful of these tips while driving to keep you and your family protected.
To learn about TIM’s auto insurance coverage, click here or call us today!
For more information about Winter Driving Tips, read this Canada Safety Council article.