It is no longer news that driving in Canada during the winter is not a child’s play as a result of the danger the ice poses to road users.
These days, winter is hitting a lot of Canadian provinces such as Quebec, Ontario, and even Toronto city with full force. These places have witnessed over 600 accidents on the roads and highways that cut across the GTA.
The reason behind this ugly incident is that most of the drivers have failed to take the necessary precautions to drive under these extreme weather conditions.
As a result of the aforementioned arctic temperatures, the tracks are usually slippery and driving conditions are below optimal.
For you to be behind the wheel this period means that you have to properly prepare and take all the required precautionary measures if you want to arrive safely at your destination.
Therefore, if you intend to drive during the coming winter in Canada and avoid accidents, you must make sure that you adhere to these valuable tips for driving in Canada in winter.
Below are the important tips you should obey when driving in Canada during the winter.
1. Limit your speed
While driving, do not forget that those posted speed limits you see by the roadside are majorly for summer season climates. Note that if there is ever a time you must not drive at high speeds on roads, highways, and the streets, then it should be during winter.
This is because no matter how active or agile a driver is, it will be very difficult for you to use the brake in dry and you cannot slow down quickly if you want to avoid crashing into another vehicle or hitting a pedestrian.
Moreover, when rain falls, wet snowfalls, and temperatures drop, therefore, you have to slow down, because, at any moment from that time, you will find a road that is totally slippery.
2. Ensure you keep longer distances
Another thing you must take cognizance of when the tracks are slippery is to distance your car from the car in front of you, the distance should be up to three times what you would usually keep on a normal day. The reason for this is that it is mostly impossible to detect black ice until it is too late.
So, if you keep a longer distance, you can apply the brake when you see the black ice, and because the vehicle will not be able to stop, it will rather slide and will stop a few meters away, if there is no other vehicle in its path.
3. Get your vehicle ready for winter
Just before you travel, check antifreeze, brakes, and windshield wipers with the use of winter tires.
Not just when you want to travel, do so even if you are going somewhere within the city. It is of utmost importance that as a driver, you have a winter kit in your vehicle. The content of your winter kit should include thermal blankets, a first aid kit, a brush of snow, flares, booster cables, water, and matches.
Sometimes even chocolate bars are found in the snow kit in case you are trapped in the snow, the chocolate bar can provide you with the calories you require while waiting for relief agencies to show up.
Another fact you must not forget in your preparations is to keep the cell phone charged and have the contact information of the agencies that can quickly assist you on the road you want to ply.
4. Clean snow thoroughly from your vehicle
Oftentimes, accidents occur because the driver is unable to see the road and also as a result of the falling of the line on the highways of vehicles in front. Therefore, just before you leave the house and hit the road, ensure that you have cleaned your car including the windows, mirrors, lights, and even the roof, or any part of the car where snow and ice can accumulate. Allow the fog windows to clear to see through all sides of your car.
5. Learn to apply brake under an emergency
Does your vehicle have an antilock braking system (ABS)? If yes, let it do its job. The essence of having an ABS incorporated in a car is to permit you to steer your vehicle even while you have fully applied the brakes.
Nevertheless, if your car is an older one without ABS brakes, the best thing to do is to pump the brakes which gives you better control of your direction rather than allow your car to skate.
If you have the opportunity to choose, then choose a vehicle that is equipped with ABS, VSC (vehicle stability control), and traction control, because these new technologies are what make winter driving a lot safer.
6. Traction on the four wheels
Although your vehicle having a four-wheel drive is not an assurance that it will not skid, but to a large extent, how your vehicle responds to skidding depends on whether it has four-wheel drive or not. In as much as wheel drive is essential, don’t be too confident.
7. Make sure you light up all the time because you have to be visible
Even during the day, keep your lights on, so ensure that they are in good condition. Furthermore, use the high beams during a heavy snowfall, because it prevents you from seeing clearly, so make use of the ones you have but low if you do not have fog lights.
8. Your tires, battery, and brakes should be in good condition this season.
The mistake most people make is that they feel that checking their car is not necessary, and only do that when they have issues, nevertheless, make sure the vehicle ranging from the tires, brakes to the battery are in a good condition.
In addition to this, avoid driving on the tracks left by other road users because fresh snow gives better traction.
Once your car starts to skid, remove your foot from the brake and move the wheel in the direction you wish to go, and when the wheels have taken hold, brake gently.
In conclusion, driving during the winter is not entirely easy but with these tips, you can mitigate a lot of things including accidents.