Although Ontarians have enjoyed a mild winter for the 2015/16 season, it’s not over yet. With at least one more winter storm predicted for the season, it’s important to make sure you are prepared for winter driving.
Our winter driving safety tips are important to keep in mind whenever the temperature dips so that you can be prepared for the worst, especially when you’re least expecting it!
- Plan ahead. Before leaving for longer trips, be sure to plan your entire route in advance, including your stops. It’s a good idea to check where there are gas stations on your route in case of an emergency and you can always check the MTO website or Twitter to see if conditions are expected to worsen.
- Check your vehicle. Make sure your car is road-ready before going anywhere. This means you should make sure your washer fluid is topped off and able to withstand the cold temperatures. Make sure you have an ice scraper in the car, your gas tank is at least half full and consider installing winter tires. You may also be eligible for an insurance discount if you use winter tires.
- Slow down. Collisions occur most frequently because drivers are going too fast for the current road conditions and are unable to slow down or stop before they need to. Provide extra space between your vehicle and the one in front of you and avoid hitting the brakes hard. If conditions get worse, find a safe place to pull off the road and wait.
- Be alert. A road that looks wet might actually be ice and keep in mind that black ice is invisible. Avoid using cruise control when you are driving in the winter because it reduces your reaction time and control of the vehicle.
- Keep an emergency kit in your trunk. A winter driving kit can help you out if you’re in a pinch. Good things to include in your winter driving kit are: bag of sand/salt/kitty litter, traction mats, snow shovel, booster cables, flares or emergency lights, extra clothing/blankets/mitts/hats, emergency snack bars/bottle water, road map, extra washer fluid, first aid kit. This is just a good starting point of what should be in your kit, please do some research and decide what is best for your vehicle.