10 Winter Driving Tips From Young Drivers of Canada

Winter Driving Tips to Keep Drivers Safe!

Winter has arrived in Canada and for many drivers, it means a season of driving anxiety as they navigate on ice, snow, slush and slippery roads. Many drivers are not prepared for winter road driving conditions, so Young Drivers of Canada would like to remind drivers to be prepared for driving this season with their “Top 10 Winter Driving Tips”.

Whether drivers like it or not, winter has made its way across Canada. Some parts of the country have seen substantial snowfall, while other parts are battling with the constant change in temperature, resulting in rain changing to sleet and snow. Currently, many provinces are under a deep freeze, experiencing extreme winter temperatures for the first time.

Young Drivers of Canada believes that every driver needs to be a safety partner in keeping the roads safe this winter. Drivers are encouraged to prepare their vehicles for winter driving and slow down when driving in winter conditions. Young Drivers of Canada also encourages drivers to take a winter driving refresher course, which will assist drivers when it comes to responding to driving in winter conditions.

10 Winter Driving Tips Suggested by Young Drivers

Young Drivers of Canada suggests the following winter driving tips, to keep drivers safe this winter season:

1. Check the road conditions before you head out. Provide yourself with extra time for the winter condition commute. Being under time constraints can result in driver error when negotiating slippery roads, resulting in a potential collision.

2. Avoid driving in bad weather. If you need to drive, ensure your vehicle is full of fuel and plan ahead. Top up the windshield fluid, ensure the wipers clear your windshield and remove any accumulated snow on your vehicle, including the roof and lights.

3. Plan your route. Let others know your route and the expected travel time, especially when driving a long distance.

4. Stick to the main roads. Major roadways are usually plowed and salted first in comparison to rural or side roads. Drivers should always drive according to road conditions. Avoid sudden acceleration or deceleration. Remember that all vehicles react differently on snowy and icy road surfaces.

5. Leave space. Not every driver can react to slippery or icy road conditions in a safe manner. Drivers are encouraged to leave enough space to react to sudden changes in traffic and be able to plan an escape route, in the event of a skidding vehicle or sudden braking by other vehicles.

6. Limit the use of cruise control. Cruise control should not be used when driving in snowy, wet or icy conditions. In the event your vehicle slides or hydroplanes on an icy or wet surface, your vehicle may try to accelerate on cruise control which could cause a driver to lose control.

7. Install winter tires. Winter tires should always be installed in sets of four. Tests have confirmed that winter tires provide better traction on cold and icy road surfaces. While other types of tires harden in cold temperatures, the rubber compound of winter tires remains soft, providing vehicles with the traction required on winter roadways.

8. Pack a winter car survival kit. The kit should include a blanket, non-perishable foods such as energy or granola bars, a blanket, a small shovel, jumper cables, flares and a flashlight. Drivers should also ensure they are dressed for winter conditions and have a heavy coat, gloves, a hat and proper winter footwear.

9. Don’t panic if you get stuck. Drivers should realize that getting stuck in a storm or snowbank isn’t the end of the world. The first rule is not to panic. Drivers should avoid becoming overexerted by trying to push their vehicle out of its situation. Drivers should stay in their vehicles to avoid exposure to the elements. Running the vehicle’s motor sparingly is a good idea, but drivers must ensure the exhaust pipe is free and clear of any obstructions including snow. Leaving the window open slightly to allow for fresh air flow is necessary to keep drivers safe. Keep watch for other vehicles.

10. Travel with a fully charged phone. A mobile phone can let friends and family know where you are and can be used to call for help. Avoid using the phone while driving, it is against the law and can divert a driver’s attention from the road.

Young Drivers of Canada encourages drivers to practice these 10 tips to ensure they are safe during the winter driving season. Drivers need to make the best judgment to ensure their safety and the safety of others on the road.