Driving in the winter isn’t always an easy task. There are a lot of factors that come in to play: icy roads, other drivers and most importantly, you and your vehicle.
It doesn’t have to be so bad. Here are some tips to help you get through this winter safe and prepared.
Tip #1: Properly prepare
- Winter tires are essential, especially during winters in the prairies. They are designed to give your vehicle better traction in icy conditions
- A snow brush/scraper in your car is great. Pack some emergency items such as a lightweight shovel, battery jumper cables, and a flashlight, blankets and spare gloves as well, in case you get stuck.
- Make sure that mirrors, all windows, and the top of your vehicle, are free of snow before hitting the roads.
Tip #2: Drive slow and steady
- Don’t make any abrupt turns or stops when driving. This causes your vehicle to lose control and skid.
- Driving too quickly is one of the main cause of winter collisions. Be sure to drive slowly and carefully as sometimes you can’t always see the condition of any road.
Tip #3: Don’t “pump” the brakes.
- If your vehicle is equipped with ABS, do not “pump” the brakes. Apply constant pressure and let the system do it’s work.
Tip #4: Don’t tailgate.
- Tailgating becomes much worse in winter weather. Even with the right tires, stopping takes much longer on snowy and icy roads than on dry pavement. Make sure to leave enough room between you and the vehicle in front of you.
Tip #5: Brake before turns.
- Brake slowly to reduce speed before entering turns. Once you have rounded the corner you can accelerate again.
Tip #6: Control your skidding.
- When skidding, you actually need to go against your natural instincts and turn into the skid and accelerate. Doing so transfers your vehicle’s weight from the front to the rear and often helps vehicles to regain control.
Tip #7: Avoid Cruise Control at all cost.
- Never use cruise control if conditions are snowy, icy, or wet, because if your car hydroplanes, your car will try to accelerate and you may lose control of your vehicle.
These are just a few tips to help you get through this winter, but what’s important to remember is that conditions are constantly changing. Be sure to know the conditions before hitting the road and, with these tips in mind, adjust your driving habits accordingly.
Stay warm this winter, and most importantly, stay safe!