What happened to fall?!
An early snowstorm hit some parts of Ontario this weekend causing traffic chaos and numerous accidents. Winter Driving tips collected by some of our expert winter drivers.
A “Needed Too Soon” Refresher On Winter Driving
Driving in the winter requires more caution due to slippery road conditions and poor visibility during snowfall. Stay safe on the winter roads by following a few simple tips that will help you to avoid accidents as well as the potential for getting stuck or stranded in a snowstorm.
Posted speed limits designate the fastest speed at which you can safely travel in optimal road conditions. That means that when the roads are not at their best, you should consider a slightly slower speed. Ice, snow, and other winter road hazards all mean that you should slow down a little more. Poor visibility on the road due to snow falling or blowing is always a cause for a slower speed. Consider the road conditions when you set your speed, and remember that driving too fast for road conditions can earn you a traffic violation.
Allow Greater Stopping Distance
Slick roads will increase the distance your car needs to come to a safe stop. This means you need to brake earlier and more cautiously. Allow more distance between your car and the car in front of you in traffic to prevent a rear end collision if you can’t stop in time. Start braking when you see a stop sign or a traffic light turning amber sooner than you would on dry roads. Use special caution when approaching pedestrian crosswalks, and stop early for pedestrians.
Know Before You Go
Check the weather forecast before you head out anywhere, especially on the highways, and check road conditions as well as potential closures as well. If the weather reports are calling for snow, be prepared for your trip to take longer. Consider staying home instead if severe weather is forecasted, and bear in mind that road closures may happen at any time. Be sure that someone knows where you are headed and when you should be expected.
Pack an Emergency Kit
Your car should be equipped with a winter emergency kit that includes a first aid kit, warm blankets, a few non-perishable food items, and items like flashlights, a folding shovel and sand or cat litter for traction. Having a kit with these basics on hand can keep a minor roadside problem from becoming a major one – and can also help in a true emergency.
Get Winter Tires
Winter tires provide your car with more traction and handle freezing temperatures better than all-season or summer tires. They’ll help you to keep control of the car and stop effectively. Additionally, many car insurance companies offer a discount for buying winter tires, so you can save on your premiums and stay safe on winter roads at the same time.
Winter roads can be very hazardous, and drivers should also approach them with caution. Keep your car on the road and arrive safely at your destination by driving slowly and carefully. Be prepared for winter storms and roadside emergencies with the right equipment in and on your vehicle. Safe winter driving will ensure that everyone makes it through the worst of the winter weather safely and with fewer accidents.