Whether you’re new to driving or an experienced driver looking for a quick refresher, these winter driving tips will help you get through the season safely. Winter driving conditions differ in every Canadian city, so we’ve compiled some tips to help you keep safe while driving during the coldest months.
Tips for Driving In the Snow
It’s best to stay off the roads during a snowstorm. However, staying off the roads isn’t realistic if you live in a region that is constantly covered in snow and ice. So following are a few tips to help you stay safe on snowy roads.
- Prepare your car for the winter
The long Canadian winters can be tough on our cars, but there are ways you can make it easier! Checking off these items on this checklist will help you winter-proof your vehicle and save you time and hassle.
Check your owner’s manual for specific information on how to check your car’s components safely.
- Prepare a winter emergency kit
When the winter months arrive, it’s wise to store an emergency kit in your vehicle, especially if you’re planning to drive during bad weather. Plus, if you ever get stranded, you’ll be glad you have it.
- Prepare your tires
Several regions in Canada require winter tires, especially Mississauga and Quebec, where temperatures can drop below 18°F. In fact, having Winter Tires in Mississauga is necessary during the winter months because the roads here are slippery and dangerous.
As the weather gets colder, you should monitor your tire pressure regularly regardless of whether you have snow tires or not. The air in your tires can expand and contract due to fluctuating temperatures in cold weather conditions. It can result in greater wear and tear, impaired performance, and even accidents.
- Replace your wiper blades
The importance of visibility on the road cannot be overstated. Unfortunately, wiper blades lose their effectiveness more quickly than most people realize.
Usually, you need to replace your blades when you notice streaks on your windshield after each swipe. Try wiping the rubber with a washcloth to see if that helps.
When the weather is really cold, use an ice scraper or de-icer instead of windshield wipers. To prevent your wipers from freezing and sticking to the windshield, fold them out when you park your car outside.
- Stay composed and controlled when it’s slippery
If the road conditions are icy or snowy, you should avoid slamming on the brakes.
If you need to stop, pumping the brakes will allow you to stop safely. Modern cars have an anti-lock braking system (ABS) that pumps brakes rapidly to help you stop in slippery conditions.
If your car has a standard transmission, you can slow your car down by downshifting instead of braking. You’ll appreciate this when you’re making your way down a hill. Make sure that you do not feather the clutch when you release it.
Never accelerate or brake hard while turning a corner on snow-covered roads. While braking into a corner, if you start sliding, ease off the brakes and turn your steering wheel in the desired direction.
- How to fix a front wheel skid?
During front-wheel skids or understeers, you lose traction on the front wheels. Take guidance from the following steps if you start skidding:
- Remain calm, don’t panic. You won’t get any further by slamming on the brakes (or the gas).
- Don’t accelerate or turn quickly. Instead, let your tires handle the vehicle without touching the brakes or gas pedals.
- Make sure you’re moving the steering wheel in the right direction.
- Once you have gotten off an icy patch, you can accelerate again.
It’s always possible to skid on backroads and streets that haven’t been salted or sanded. You should brake lightly and steer straight while braking.
- What can you do to control a rear-wheel slide when driving around a corner?
When your car’s back wheels slide due to ice and start spinning, it’s called oversteer. Follow these steps to fix the rear-wheel skids.
- Take a deep breath and ease off the gas.
- Turn the steering wheel into the slide to straighten out your car. It will be easier for you to control your vehicle once the skid is alleviated.
- Keep a cool head to prevent knee-jerk reactions caused by over-steering.
- Clear your car of ice and snow
Make sure your car is cleared of snow, ice, and wind if you plan a drive in windy, snowy, or freezing conditions. You should wipe down all your windows, hood, taillights, and car headlights.
Leaving snow on your roof may cause it to fall onto your windshield when you decelerate, which in some provinces is a fineable offense.
During freezing weather conditions, the surface of your vehicle can become iced over. The deicing spray is a great solution if you have trouble scraping ice off your windows. In addition, keep your wipers up when parking your car to prevent them from freezing.
- Keep a safe distance
Drivers who are not experienced on snowy roads or don’t have the proper tires are a big hazard when driving in a snowstorm. Make sure you drive slowly. Keeping a reasonable distance between vehicles is essential when driving in a snowstorm, as you must have enough time and space to stop.
The best way to avoid losing traction if you slam on the brakes is to keep your speed down and let other drivers pass you
- Be very cautious when driving in freezing rain
Driving in the rain and freezing temperatures in some Canadian cities is inevitable. However, the fluctuating temperatures in Canada can cause all kinds of road conditions. In the event of freezing rain, roads tend to be slippery and black ice is common.
When driving in bad weather, drivers must use extreme caution since it can be more difficult to see, making it more likely to lose control.
- Plan ahead for safe winter driving
When the weather is bad, it is possible to lose control. So keep these safety tips in mind to keep yourself safe:
- Stay on main roads
The main routes of your town or city will likely be plowed first by snowplows and salt trucks during a snowstorm. Avoid driving on unploughed and unsalted roads if you’re driving in winter conditions. This will reduce your risk of getting into an accident.
- See and be seen
Making sure motorists and pedestrians see you on the road is one of the best ways to avoid an accident. You should turn your headlights on, make sure they are clear of the snow, and keep a safe distance from others. When driving in a snowstorm, seeing other vehicles in your blind spot can be challenging. Be alert to all types of movement on the road and drive slowly.
iii. Avoid driving in very bad conditions
Check the weather before getting behind the wheel; if it’s awful outside, you may want to reconsider. Wait to clear your driveway after a snowstorm or road maintenance vehicles have visited the area.
Canada is far north, and some regions are always cold even when winter isn’t due. Once winter begins, most parts of the True North will experience snow and ice for six months.
While people should avoid driving on snow-covered roads, it is almost unavoidable to travel on snowy roads in the dead of winter in Canada. Despite this, many motorists lack the skills or knowledge necessary to drive in icy conditions. We’ve got you covered with these simple but significant winter driving tips, including how to prepare your car and control it when it slides.