Driving in winter is vastly different from taking your car out for a spin during the rest of the year. In fact, you don’t want to use the term ‘spin’ at all. It’s not just the ice and snow that can pose potential danger. The limited visibility can make driving difficult too and many drivers are understandably nervous. According to a 2021 Michelin report 37% of Canadians they surveyed were nervous when it came to driving in adverse weather conditions and 61% did not trust other drivers on the road.
Read on for our top winter driving tips that will help you drive safely on the road this winter.
Windshield Wiper Fluid and Car Clearing Kit
Low visibility is one of the most dangerous factors about driving in wintery conditions. Make sure you keep your windows and windshield as clear as possible along with your taillights. Assemble a car clearing kit and keep it handy in your vehicle. Recommended items include a de-ice spray, ice scrapers, and a brush.
Make sure you keep the windshield wiper fluid in your car topped up as well. You just can’t top it up too many times during the cold season. It can be a good idea to keep a spare bottle of wiper fluid in your car for emergencies or during long drives. If you don’t need it, someone else on the road might be grateful that you have it.
Keep a Safe Distance
There’s nothing more scary than a car that’s too close on slippery roads. Braking on icy roads takes a lot longer than in normal weather conditions. Drive slowly and keep a few car lengths between your car and the one in front of you. We recommend at least three.
Take Your Turns with Confidence
Driving on icy roads means having to be extra cautious, especially when turning. Driving slowly is always a good idea as you have more control over braking. Brake in a straight line and try and avoid doing so while turning. Do not accelerate during a turn and only do so once you have completed the turn and straightened your steering wheel. This will help you with your control.
Keep an Emergency Kit
A sudden snowstorm may mean you have to spend plenty of time in your car. Having an emergency kit stowed away can help you stay as comfortable as possible. Blankets, sleeping bags, warm clothes, granola bars and other snacks, insulated flask with water, an analog road map, first aid kit, flashlight with spare batteries, candles and matches, de-icer, sunglasses, grit, shovel, and jumper cables are all great items to include in your kit.
Plan Your Routes
Always plan the route you are going to take before setting out in your car. Stick to main roads as much as possible as they are most likely to be salted and plowed regularly. For any journeys out of the ordinary let your friends and family know the route you are planning to take and your estimated time of departure and arrival.
Winter Tires FTW!
Winter tires are legally required in many provinces. Even if they aren’t, we would highly recommend using them. The softer rubber and deeper treads give you a much better grip on the roads. If you have an RV, read this article to know how to prep it for winter.
Trademasters can help you pick and fit the right winter tires for your vehicle. If you need help winterizing your car in BC, get in touch with the experts at Trademasters Vehicle Solutions. We’re always happy to help!