Winter Driving: Stay Alert, Stay in Control

Car crashes are the leading cause of death among children ages 2 to 14. During the winter months, the chances of car-related accident and injuries are increased because of inclement weather including rain, snow, sleet and ice.

Taking the proper precaution and following a few safety driving tips can help you and your family be safe on the road and reduce your risk of car-related accidents.

The best advice for driving in bad winter weather is not to drive at all, but if you have to, follow these safety tips;

  • Don’t go out until the snow plows and sanding trucks have done its job.
  • Decrease your speed levels and leave plenty of room for stopping. You should allow at least three times more space than usual between you and the car in front of you.
  • Brake gently to avoid skidding. If your wheels start to lock up, ease off the brake.
  • Turn on your lights to increase your visibility to other motorists.
  • Keep your lights and windshield clean.
  • Don’t use cruise control or overdrive on icy roads
  • Be especially careful on bridges, overpasses and infrequently traveled roads, which will freeze first.
  • Don’t pass snow plows and sanding trucks. The drivers have limited visibility.
  • Always wear your seatbelts.

Be prepared for winter driving

  • Get your car tuned
  • Talk to your local tire dealer about which chains are the best fit for your vehicle and practice installing them.
  • Get your vehicle winter-ready with a maintenance check-up. Get your battery, belts, hoses, radiator, oil, lights, brakes, tires, exhaust system, heater/defroster, wipers, and ignition system checked.
  • Make sure you have sufficient windshield washer fluid in the reservoir that is rated a minimum of -40°C temperature range. Keep an extra jug in the vehicle.
  • Have your tires checked or replaced. Remember to check tire air pressure frequently, as it decreases in cold weather. The condition of your vehicle’s tires is important. Worn or damaged tires can hamper your ability to drive safely.