Snowy roads ahead? Fear not. Canadians know how the winter weather in Canada feels like. As winter arrives, you must know how to navigate the snowy and icy road conditions like a professional. Severe snow storms and winter conditions can be dangerous and frightening for travellers. So, you need to know the essential winter driving tips to help you stay in control through the winter season’s conditions.
In this article, we will discuss different tips for winter driving so you can safely drive on slippery roads and icy conditions.
Preparing for the First Snowfall
Before we move to the winter driving tips, there are some essential things you need to do to be prepared for the first snowfall. Following are some of the checkpoints which should be followed:
- A maintenance checkup to make sure that your vehicle is up to standards and can drive on rough road surfaces.
- In winter, cars require more current to start the engine. So, make sure that your battery is functioning properly.
- Check that your fuel tank is full or at least half full to drive smoothly on covered roads.
- Your heater and defroster should also be in good condition.
- It’s necessary to have an ice scraper or a washer fluid which works at a low temp like -40oC
- Make sure to have an aid kit which has the following items:
- A charged phone
- Jumper cables
- Water and some food
- Warm clothes
10 Winter Driving Tips
After you have completed the above points, consider the following winter driving tips for safe driving:
Winter tires or snow tires are special tires designed to work in low temperatures. These tires are perfect for safe winter driving. Winter tires improve traction and help you better control your car so that you can easily drive in snowy and icy conditions. These tires are designed to provide better traction as compared to regular or all season tires. Winter Tires can even work perfectly in low temperatures approaching -30oC or even below. These tires even shorten the braking distance by 25%.
Wear Your Seatbelt
This is a very obvious tip that must be followed every time, regardless of weather conditions. Wearing a seatbelt can save you from fatal injuries. According to the Transport Canada Report, if you wear a seatbelt correctly, the impact of injuries during an accident can be reduced by 47%. So better safe than sorry, Right?
Avoid Driving in Blizzards
Out of many winter driving tips, another important tip for winter driving for you is to avoid driving during blizzards and snowstorms. Unless it’s very important, it’s better if you stay at home. If you have to drive, then drive slowly and keep your focus on the road. Reducing speed decreases the likelihood of slipping and skidding. Pay special attention to road surfaces. This will help you drive smoothly in icy conditions.
If Your Car Skids
Skidding is a common factor that can happen even with experienced drivers. Skidding mostly occurs when you apply sudden brakes in order to avoid any obstacles. In winter conditions, skidding occurs more commonly. But you don’t have to panic. Try to slow down and be extra careful when changing lanes, making turns, or when you have to apply brakes.
Stay Calm & Focused
During winter weather, it’s very common for drivers to encounter slippery roads as well as snowy roads. Due to this, it’s very natural for drivers to feel nervous. But panicking will only worsen the situation. So try to remain calm and keep your focus on the road.
Avoid Cruise Control
If you are driving in snowy and icy road conditions, it’s better to turn off cruise control. If you drive at a constant speed, there is a chance that your tires will experience hydroplaning. Due to this, you can lose control. So, along with other winter driving tips, consider this tip as well.
Keep a Safe Distance
When you are driving in winter weather and on slippery roads make sure that you are at a safe distance from the other car. There is a high chance that you can lose traction during snowy weather and on covered roads. This increases the chances of collision with the other vehicles. So it’s better to maintain a safe distance.
If You Get Stuck
If your car gets stuck in a snowstorm, don’t panic. Don’t try hard to push your vehicle out, it can tire you out. Stay inside your car to stay safe from the cold. Start your car’s engine occasionally, but make sure the exhaust pipe isn’t blocked by snow. Keep a window slightly open for fresh air. Watch out for other vehicles around you.
Check Weather Conditions
Before you set out for a journey, you are advised to check weather conditions. This will give you an idea of what is ahead. It’s better if you check your route as well. If you are facing severe blizzards or bad weather, you are advised to postpone your trip.
Stay on Main Road
Main roads get cleared before small ones. Drive based on the road conditions. Don’t speed up or slow down suddenly. Cars behave differently in snow and icy conditions. If you follow the given winter driving tips, you can ensure safe driving for yourself and for others.
To conclude, navigating through the winter season on Canada’s icy roads demands cautiousness and preparation. As the cold season approaches, knowing about essential winter driving tips is a must. Facing severe snowstorms and frosty conditions can be daunting for travellers. But you don’t have to worry; the above mentioned winter driving tips will surely help you drive safely.
Question No: 1 Why are winter tires essential for driving in snowy conditions?
Answer: Winter tires are specially designed to offer improved traction and control in cold temperatures. They provide a better grip on icy and snowy roads, ensuring safer driving.
Question No: 2 Should I drive during blizzards or snowstorms?
Answer: No, It’s advisable to avoid driving during severe weather conditions whenever possible.
Question No: 3 What should I do if my car skids on icy roads?
Answer: Skidding can happen, especially in winter conditions. If your car skids, avoid panicking. Try to slow down and be cautious when changing lanes, making turns, or applying brakes.
Question No: 4 Is it important to maintain a safe distance while driving in winter weather?
Answer: Absolutely, maintaining a safe distance from other vehicles is crucial in snowy and slippery conditions. Reduced traction on covered roads increases the risk of collisions, so maintaining a safe distance helps prevent accidents.
Question No: 5 What should I do if my car gets stuck in a snowstorm?
Answer: If your car gets stuck, remain inside the car to stay warm and start the engine. Keep a window slightly open for fresh air, and be mindful of other vehicles nearby.