Updated: Nov 14, 2021
As the weather turns colder, and the roads get frosty, it’s time to take extra precautions while driving. Winter driving is something that we can’t avoid, but there are ways to make it safer.
Whether you’re a seasoned driver, or recently licensed the unpredictable bad weather yields unsafe road conditions. Cold weather conditions account for 12 percent of traffic accidents and fatalities in Canada. Snow and ice paired with the cold weather lead to pockets of black ice and slippery roads that are difficult and potentially dangerous to drive on.
The bad weather is the perfect time to brush up on your safe driving habits. Stay safe on snow-covered roads this holiday season with these 9 helpful winter driving tips.
1. Slow Down
The most important safe driving tip to practice is to drive slowly. Winter weather means low visibility and icy roads. It can be dangerous to break suddenly in these conditions, always leave extra space between yourself and other vehicles on the road.
Remember: speed limits are for ideal driving conditions. Driving at a reduced speed is the best way to avoid accidents, and get to your destination safely during the winter months. Driving slow on slippery roads will help to reduce skidding.
2. Get Winter Tires
Winter tires are specially designed for weather conditions like ice, snow, slush, and ice. They are made to perform in low temperatures.
Winter tires are designed to stay flexible in cooler conditions, helping them maintain better grip. They are made with tread patterns specially formulated to push water and snow to the sides for better traction.
Four-wheel drive is not a substitute for winter tires and is sure to replace all four. In some provinces, it’s the law. Look for tires with the alpine logo to ensure they meet Canadian snow traction performance requirements.
3. Top-up Your Winter Windshield Fluid
During the chilly winter months, replace your regular windshield fluid with a winter windshield fluid. Regular fluids may freeze in the tank or even worse - on your windshield!
Winter washer fluids have higher concentrations of alcohol, which gives them a lower freezing point. Some winter windshield fluids even have de-icing properties.
Fog and freezing rain already cause poor visibility, so be sure to treat your vehicle to a high-quality winter fluid and windshield wipers to help improve windshield clarity. Just don’t forget your snow brush!