Likewise every year, Ontarians begin preparing themselves and their vehicles for the winter roads. Driving on roads in unpredictable and difficult conditions can be daunting.
Here are 11 winter driving tips to help you:
1. Create a “survival kit”
Your survival kit should include items such as: gloves, power cords, dustpan, wiper fluid, first aid kit, flashlight, snow brush, candles, safety vest, water bottles, and non-perishable energy foods. Put the kit in the trunk of your car and store extra snacks or light winter accessories (gloves) in the console or glove box for easy access.
2. Check the weather and road conditions often
Choose your route in advance and check the weather forecast to make sure you know what to expect before you hit the road. Google is your best friend, but there are now also a lot of different apps to use like Waze.
3. Maintain a safe distance behind the snow blowers
If you are behind a snow blower, keep a safe distance. Snowplow drivers don’t always have the best visibility and can create snow clouds that can also reduce visibility.
4. If you don’t already have them, get winter tires
They provide better traction, handling and braking and can reduce braking distance by up to 25%. All season tires are not the same as winter tires. They lose their grip when the temperature drops below 7 ° C.
5. Slow down and allow yourself more travel time
This may be obvious, but it is important. Drive according to the road conditions around you and don’t rely on the estimated arrival time your GPS gives you.
6. Clear snow and ice from your vehicle
Make sure you clean all windows, mirrors, lights, and roof. Wait for the foggy windows to clear so that your visibility is not poor.
7. Wear comfortable clothes
It’s a good idea to dress in layers in the winter, but having too many layers can restrict your movement and make it difficult to control your blind spot.
8. Keep the tank full
It can help reduce moisture in the fuel system and also add extra weight to your vehicle to slow it down.
9. Keep OPP numbers handy and travel with a fully charged mobile phone
The non-emergency number for the OPP is 1-888-310-1122. For provincial highway conditions, go to www.ontario.ca/511 or call 511.
10. Avoid using cruise control on slippery roads
It’s easy to lose control of your vehicle in bad weather if you rely on cruise control. If the driving conditions are really bad, or in the event of a severe ice storm or blizzard, avoid driving altogether.
11. Find out the best way to recover from a skidding for your vehicle
How your vehicle responds to a skid depends on whether or not it has rear wheel, front wheel or all-wheel drive. If your vehicle is equipped with an anti-lock braking system (ABS), learn how to use it correctly.
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