Slow down. Its much more difficult to control, accelerate or start your vehicle on a slippery or snow-covered roadway. In 2019, there were over 180,000 winter weather related crashes reported by the Police. It's wise to increase your following distance enough so that you'll have lots of time to stop before the vehicles ahead of you.
Always give snow plows the right away and don't try to overtake a snow plow ahead of you. Let them do their job as they are there to make you driving safer. If you absolutely have to pass a slow moving snow plow, steer a few lanes over and make sure you pass with caution.
What to Do in Case of an Emergency
If your vehicle has been disabled due to an accident or stuck in the snow in winter conditions, the most important thing to do is to stay focused on yourself and your passengers as well as your surroundings.
- Stay inside your car. Often times is safer than standing next to it.
- Make sure your car is visible. Activate your hazard lights and light up a flare if your have one.
- Make sure your vehicle's exhaust pipe is clear of obstructions while your vehicle is running. Avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.
As the temperature drops, so does the tire pressure. With the changing weather, make sure that each tire is filled to the vehicle manufacturer's recommended tire pressure. This information can be found on the driver door sill or door, and also in the owner's manual. Don't inflate the tire to the pressure indicated on the tire. This is the maximum pressure a tire can hold, no the recommended operation tire pressure.
- Inspect your tires monthly and especially before lengthy trips
- It's best to check tire pressure when the tires are cold and haven't been driven on
- Be sure to check the age of the tire. Some manufacturers do not recommend using tires past it's sixth year mark.
What to look for during a tire inspection:
- Look for any damage on the tire
- Look for tread and sidewalls for any cuts, punctures, bulges, cracks, scrapes or bumps.
- Check your spare tire if you have one
If you aren't sure about your tire condition, take your vehicle to a tire service professional such as Tire Connection
In cold weather, parents dress their children in winter coats. It's important to note that heavy coats can interfere with proper harness fitment on a child in a car seat. It's best to pick thin, warm layers and add a blanket on the child after the harness has been attached.
If there weather is wet and slushy, consider switching to rubber mats. There are aftermarket winter floor liner mats which fit perfectly and are vehicle specific. They ensure that no liquid penetrates to your floor boards and eventually cause rust. Alternatively you may get generic winter mats from Walmart or Canadian Tire.
Not just in winter, but on a regular basis, it's a good idea to check the operation of your headlights, brake lights, turn signals, hazard lights and interior lights. You want to make sure that all your lights are operating properly so that both yourself and drivers around you have situational awareness.
Avoid Risky Driving Behaviour
It's always best to avoid aggressive driving during wintry conditions. Whether it may be snowing or iced over roadway, any sudden movements can lead to disaster. Never text and drive and always drive sober. If you consume alcohol, consider having a designated driver or get home safe in a taxi, public transit or use a ride-share service such as UBER
And remember, be sure to always wear your seat belt.