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The Team at Angevaare Mazda put together a list of some helpful winter driving tips for helping you navigate the roads during our often harsh Canadian Winters. From winter tires to kitty litter, these tips will make sure you get a grip this winter.


 

In Canada, summer never hangs out for as long as we would like and before we know it we are pulling out our parkas and trying to find where in the shed we put our snow shovel during our spring cleaning. As much as we hate it, winter time means snow and that means to get anywhere we must often brave the cold and drive through it. This can be quite difficult, so our team put together a few winter driving tips to help you and your car deal with our Canadian Winters.

STAY AT HOME


We understand that these are snow driving tips but the best way to stay safe during winter storms and weather watch times is to avoid driving if possible. After all, you can’t get into a car accident if you don’t take your car onto the road.

NOW FOR THE TIPS

PREPARE YOUR VEHICLE FOR THE DRIVE AHEAD


While in many provinces snow tires are mandatory, in Ontario they are not.  All season tires are only good for temperatures above 7 degrees Celsius and even if there is no snow to make your drive safe for you and others snow tires should be installed.  Insurance companies usually offer a discount for drivers with snow tires as well, so not only are you making your drive safer you are also potentially saving money.

We recommend that you have your vehicle battery checked in the fall because it is more stressed in the winter with the cold temperatures, extra electrical loads such as heater, wipers, lights, rear defrost and short drives that do not allow the system to charge itself. Be sure to always keep your fuel take over half way full to ensure condensation does not happen in the tank which can cause fuel freeze and leave you stranded. Handy supplies to keep in your car during winter include a small first aid kit, a blanket, torch, ice scraper, deicing fluid, jumper cords a small fold up shovel and a small bag of kitty litter for under the tires if you get stuck. If you are driving a long distance we highly recommend that you make sure that your cellphone is fully charged, and it is also advised that you carry a small bit of food and water in case, heaven forbid, something goes wrong and you are stranded somewhere for a while.

Also, be sure to clear snow from the top of your vehicle as it can fall off when you are driving and land on the windshield of the car behind you, which is not only inconsiderate but can also be very dangerous for the driver behind as it might cause them to lose control resulting in an accident. To maximize your visibility, be sure to remove ice from the front and rear windshields as well as the windows and whatever cameras your vehicle is equipped with. In many provinces there is a two-minute warm up period allowed for standing vehicles and although today’s vehicles can basically start and drive, taking these two minutes to clear the windshield from frost to maximize your visibility is a good practice.

PLAN YOUR TRAVELS


As much as a lot of us pride ourselves on knowing shortcuts and routes that either save us time or save us gas, during the winter its best plan your route before heading out. In snowy conditions its best to stick to main roads as these are most likely to be cleared and salted regularly. Also, given that several vehicles drive across these roads throughout the day it prevents snow from accumulating on them, often making them safer than most side roads. Lastly, given that visibility is often reduced when it is snowing, planning your route beforehand helps prevent you from getting lost. In the event that something goes wrong, knowing exactly where you are is very helpful when contacting road side assistance or friends and family to lend you a hand.

DRIVE SLOW, MAINTAIN DISTANCE AND BE VIGILANT

Due to how slippery things can get its always best to drive slow and maintain at least a 6 second difference between you and the car in front of you. This will not only give you enough time to hopefully stop if you need to, but will also give you time to react to things around you. Be sure to check your surrondings as you drive as this gives you a better chance of predicting something and taking action to avoid an accident. Remember, it’s better late than never, leave early enough to enable you drive slowly and carefully and still reach your destination on time. Driving slow allows you to drive smoothly. In snowy conditions you want to avoid making sudden actions whether its braking, turning sharply or accelerating suddenly. Sharp or sudden actions run the risk of your tires losing traction resulting in your skidding. Taking your time and being vigilant are the best ways to minimize accidents whether it’s snowing, raining or it’s a sunny day.

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. We hope you found these tips useful. Stay warm, stay safe and happy driving.