Driving in winter conditions can be both challenging and frustrating. Here are some helpful tips to keep you and your loved ones safer on the road. Plan now for safe traveling in cold-weather climates.
Fuel up. Keep your gas tank at least half full to reduce condensation buildup that can lead to gas line freezing.
Clear the snow and ice from your vehicle’s roof, hood and trunk and especially from the windows, mirrors and lights.
Kick the snow off your boots before you get in the car. If you don’t, it will melt inside the car, turn into water vapour, and fog the windows.
Check your brakes. Properly functioning brakes can prevent wheels from locking on slick surfaces.
Check your tyre tread. A deep tread will help to prevent skidding in wet and icy conditions.
Take it slow, reduce your speed. Driving with reduced speed is one of the most important things you can do when snow’s on the ground. By driving more slowly, you’ll have more time to maneuver when accelerating, stopping and turning.
Follow traffic at a safe distance and don’t pass a snow plow that is clearing snow from the road.
Bridges and overpasses accumulate ice first. Approach them with extreme caution and do not apply your brakes while on the bridge
Leave plenty of room between you and other vehicles. Remember, the larger the vehicle, the longer the stopping distance.
Keep your lights on all the time so that other vehicles can see you better.
If you must travel during a snowstorm or in blizzard conditions, be sure to let a relative, friend or coworker know where you are headed and your expected arrival time. Avoid the temptation to check or be on your phone while driving as all of your attention should be on arriving safely.
If you do venture out or are unexpectedly caught in a snowstorm and encounter problems, stay in your car and wait for help. You can run the car heater to stay warm for 10 minutes every hour, but make sure your exhaust pipe is clear of snow. There is a danger of carbon monoxide poisoning if snow blocks the pipe and enables the deadly gas to build up in your car. Open your window slightly to help prevent the buildup.
Stay home. If you really don’t have to go out, don’t. Even if you can drive well in the snow, not everyone else can. Don’t tempt fate: If you don’t have somewhere you have to be, watch the snow from indoors.