Whether you’re a new driver or you’ve tackled your fair share of Canadian winters, everyone knows that icy weather can be rough on your car. With freezing temperatures, slick roadways and blankets of snow falling down – it’s inevitable that your vehicle will experience winter wear and tear. But poor winter weather can also make for dangerous driving conditions. Failing to match your driving habits to inclement winter weather can put you and others in harm’s way. To help keep yourself and others safe on the road this winter, we suggest some simple tips:
1. Remember to Leave Space
When visibility is poor, it’s very important to maintain a safe distance from other vehicles. When roads are wet they may become frozen and icy, and stopping distances increase dramatically. This means that if you fail to maintain plenty of distance, you may not have enough time to stop safely and could crash.
2. Don’t Drive With an Obstructed View
When winter weather conditions make it difficult to see the road clearly, you still need to navigate through snow, ice, mud and other elements to get home safely. Make sure you’ve invested in a high-quality ice scraper and replace your windshield wipers as soon as they begin to wear out. Additionally, obstructed or dim headlights can make it difficult to see where you’re going. So don’t forget to replace the bulbs as needed to help keep your car free from icy buildup that blocks your view.
3. Properly Winterize Your Vehicle
Once the weather starts to cool down, it’s a good idea to put away your regular tires in favor of snow tires. Along with a good ice scraper, you should include a set of chains in your vehicle, especially if you live in a hilly area. In fact, certain roadways require chains during inclement weather for any vehicle that is lacking four-wheel drive or snow tires. The addition of a few blankets and an emergency road safety kit are also helpful when winterizing your vehicle.
4. Adjust Your Speed Appropriately
Even if you’re familiar with the regular route to your home or office, that doesn’t mean you don’t have to slow down during a storm. Instead of rushing and driving too fast, allow for extra time to get around town and be careful whenever you have to brake, take curves, or change lanes. The danger of skidding on ice is greatest when you’re taken by surprise, so remember to drive at an appropriate speed during winter storms.
5. Go Easy on the Breaks
Chances are that if you’re driving too fast and too close to other cars, you’ll have to brake hard to avoid an accident. Try to go easy on your brakes whenever possible to avoid making one or more of your wheels lock. Locked-up wheels are dangerous because they can easily send you into a spin and become very dangerous on winter roadways.
Stay Safe and Enjoy a Happy Winter
As your trusted insurance broker, we want to make sure that you and your loved ones stay safe on the roads this winter. By following a few key safety steps you can protect yourself and others all year long. Visit us online at ldinsurance.ca for more information.