It’s that time of the year again. Hot chocolate, sweater weather, Netflix and chill. Everything sound so relaxing until you have to go out and drive on the icy roads and pouring snow.
Some Canadians have probably gotten used to the winter driving, but for new drivers, and those who are planning to visit the country during winter, these tips might be helpful for you!
1. Check conditions
Before leaving for a drive, always always always check the weather and road conditions first. Turn on the television and watch for the traffic news to know if there are any road closures, collisions, etc. Tune in to your favourite radio station or go check online if there’s any warning and alerts made by Environment Canada.
2. Bundle up!
Depending on the weather conditions, you have to dress comfortably and properly. Gloves, toque, and scarves. If you don’t feel comfortable driving with your bulky winter jackets, you can take it off first and just have it ready when getting out of the car.
3. Clear up the ice and snow
Another major step to make is to take time and clear up the ice and snow from your vehicle. Yes, winter will need you to give extra time before heading out because clearing up the snow and ice from your vehicle is not as quick as you thought it would be. You have to make sure that you have a clear view while driving. Don’t be a reckless driver who clears out the snow while on the road!
4. Check windshield washer fluid
One thing you should expect is that driving during winter will make your car and your and windshield dirtier. Make sure that your tank is full of winter windshield washer fluid (-40 degrees C freeze protection) because you will be using your wipers often. It is even advised to keep an extra gallon of windshield washer fluid in your trunk just in case.
5. Turn on heat – defrost
After you start the car, turn on the heat and set to defrost to avoid fogging the windows and the windshield.
6. Check fuel tank
Winter driving takes up more fuel than regular-season driving. It’s advised to keep your fuel tank full to avoid running out of gas on the roads.
7. Turn on headlights
Worst case driving during winter? Having no visibility at all. Turn on your headlights whenever visibility is bad.
8. Keep distance
Roads can be too slippery because of the ice and snow. It’s better to keep an extra distance from cars around you when stopping. Try to gently press the brakes earlier than usual because snowy roads will take you longer to stop. DON’T BRAKE TOO SUDDEN!
9. See the bigger picture
Look far ahead. Be more cautious with what’s happening around you. Snowy roads can cause more accidents. If you can recognize hazards right away, you will have more time to react and avoid passing that direction.
10. Get winter tires!
The best way to avoid skidding on slippery roads during winter is to equip your vehicle with winter tires. It can be really pricy but it is definitely a good investment, especially if you’ll be driving a lot during this season.
Watch the video for more tips about winter driving in Canada!