Driving in Snow and Ice - Winter Driving Tips
February 04, 2021, Kitchener, Ontario
Posted by: Robert Deutschmann, Personal Injury Lawyer
Winter Driving is a fact of life in Canada. It’s important to remember that in winter conditions change very rapidly from dry and clear to snowy and slick. Your driving has to change as well. Every year thousands of people in Ontario are injured or killed in car accidents and many of them occur in the winter.
Winter driving requires that you anticipate a crisis and avoid it. It means watching the weather and road conditions carefully for accumulations of snow and ice and adjusting your driving. Varying visibility means speeds and following distances need to be adjusted accordingly.
Top 10 Tips For Winter Driving Safety
- Prepare your car – make sure you have washer fluid, clear snow and ice from your can and make sure your wipers work. Have a snow scraper and emergency winter kit in your car.
- Purchase a matching set of snow tires and use them for the period where temperatures are below 8 degrees. In southern Ontario that is usually from mid-November to March. Keep them balanced and at the correct pressure.
- Keep your fuel tank over half full to avoid condensation in the tank and to allow you to run your engine in case the road is closed or you are delayed.
- Buckle up and be alert for Black ice.
- Do not use cruise control.
- Increase following distances.
- Steer and break with smooth and precise movements. Sudden moves will cause sliding and skidding and even spins.
- Allow extra travel time and be prepared to get off the roads if conditions deteriorate.
- Don’t pass snow plows or sanding trucks.
- SLOW DOWN.
What To Do If You Start To Skid
- STAY CALM
- Look where you want to go and steer in that direction.
- DON’T BRAKE
- DON’T ACCELERATE
- Consider putting the car into neutral to maintain steering but avoid adding velocity to the car
- If you keep the car in gear take your foot off the gas
- If the road is slippery and you must brake begin doing so as far back as you can and as slowly as possible
- DO NOT LOCK UP YOUR BRAKES
What to Do If You Get Stuck
- Assess your situation. Is it safe to exit the car?
- Don’t panic.
- If you can’t shovel out the parts of the car that are stuck stay in your vehicle and call for help.
- In a blizzard stay in your car.
- Turn on your hazard lights or set up a flare.
- Tie a bright coloured cloth to your antenna or mirror to alert people that you are in trouble.
- Keep warm in the car by bundling up.
- If you are funning the car engine do so for about 10 minutes every hour and make sure your tailpipe/exhaust is clear to avoid CO poisoning.
- Keep hydrated with your water and melt snow if necessary in your cup with your candle.
- DO NOT FALL ASLEEP.
What To Put In Your Winter Driving Kit
- A bag of sand or kitty litter
- Tow rope
- Traction mats
- Snow shovel
- Snow brush
- Snow scraper
- Booster cables
- Fuel line de-icer
- Windshield washer fluid
- Food and emergency water and a cup
- Cell phone and a charger
- Matches and emergency candles.
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About Deutschmann Law
Deutschmann Law serves South-Western Ontario with offices in Kitchener-Waterloo, Cambridge, Woodstock, Brantford, Stratford and Ayr. The law practice of Robert Deutschmann focuses almost exclusively in personal injury and disability insurance matters. For more information, please visit www.deutschmannlaw.com or call us toll-free at 1-866-414-4878.
It is important that you review your accident benefit file with one of our experienced personal injury / car accident lawyers to ensure that you obtain access to all your benefits which include, but are limited to, things like physiotherapy, income replacement benefits, vocational retraining and home modifications.