Whether you’re a Canadian-born citizen or a recent immigrant, one thing you might’ve noticed about Canada is that during the winter, there is plenty of snow. Navigating through snowy conditions can be quite nerve-wracking for even experienced drivers however, knowing how to safely operate your vehicle is a necessary tool for when winter comes. Statistics Canada reported that 21.4% of fatal collisions in 2020 were due to environmental factors. As a driver, you must be prepared for any winter conditions that may pose a challenge to your driving.
It’s important to use extreme caution and to slow down in winter weather. At Trubicars, we have identified some helpful Winter Driving Tips to consider and keep in mind while you are driving in snowy conditions.
Top 6 Winter Driving Tips
Check the forecast: Prior to any road trip, checking the weather forecast can help you to know what kind of weather you will be driving in.
Purchase Winter Tires: Winter tires are specially designed to give your vehicle stronger traction to deal with heavy snow and ice, they also break easier and help you handle speed and turning corners in winter weather. You should also ensure to check your tire pressure frequently as cold weather can deflate your tires.
Pre-heat and Clear snow and ice debris from your vehicle: Most people don’t appreciate climbing into a cold vehicle. By starting your vehicle a couple of minutes before you drive, you give your car cabin and engine a chance to heat up. Additionally, pre-heating your vehicle can help melt some of the snow and ice that is on your vehicle. It’s important to clear off any snow and ice so that your license plate, headlights, and taillights are visible and so that you can see the road better.
Have a winter driving survival kit: In case of emergency, it’s better to be safe than sorry and ensure you have any supplies you may need in case you get stranded on the road during inclement weather. Some supplies include (but are not limited to):
First Aid Kit
Extra warm clothing and footwear
Practice defensive driving techniques and slide recovery techniques: Even if you’re an experienced driver, it’s always good to remain alert and attentive to your surroundings, it’s also good to know how to regain control of your vehicle if you happen to slide due to snow or ice build-up on the road.
Slow down and give yourself time: Always ensure you are driving the speed limit and if you don’t feel safe driving at a high speed, click on your hazard lights to let other drivers around you know that you are driving a bit slower due to the road conditions. Always ensure that you give yourself enough time to safely reach your destination when it comes to bad weather. It’s better to leave early and arrive early than to rush and potentially put yourself or others in a dangerous position while trying to navigate through inclement weather.
At Trubicars, we emphasize to our students the importance of driving safely and how the safety of your life and others’ lives is your responsibility when you are driving. It’s important to remember that driving is a privilege NOT a right. It is your duty as an operator of a motorized vehicle to ensure that you remain safe and responsible behind the wheel especially when road conditions may be affected by winter weather conditions. If you are looking for more information on Winter Driving Tips, check out the Trubicars website!