Avoid collisions & car accidents this winter
Winter driving can seem intimidating; especially since almost 30% of all traffic accidents in Canada occur on snow or ice covered roads. However, if you prepare for winter weather conditions by adjusting how you drive and educating yourself on winter driving safety, you’ll greatly reduce your chances of getting into an accident. Read on for some of our top winter driving tips to avoid collisions and car accident injuries.
1. Prepare your vehicle
The first step in safer winter driving is preparing your vehicle. Always remember to clear snow from your mirrors, windows, and the top of your car before hitting the road. Secondly, make sure winter tires are installed and stock your vehicle with important emergency items like a shovel, jumper cables, and a flashlight. Discover what else should be in your Winter Driving Survival Kit by visiting our recent blog.
2. Drive smoothly & slowly
The main cause of most winter collisions is speed. When the roads are covered with snow and ice, decrease your speed and avoid abrupt stops or turns. Additionally, always brake before your turns, and take them slowly to avoid losing control of your vehicle.
3. See & be seen
Visibility is a critical component of safe winter driving. Firstly, remember to clear both your headlights and your brake lights from snow, and turn your lights on to increase your visibility to other motorists. Secondly, ensure that your windshield wipers are working and use winter-grade washer fluid for optimal performance.
4. Leave extra room
Stopping takes much longer on snowy and icy roads. Generally, you should leave two seconds between you and the next car when driving. However, when the weather is poor, you should leave even more room between your vehicle and the one in front of you. Additionally, keep a safe distance behind snow plows. These vehicles often create clouds of snow that can lessen your visibility even more.
5. Plan accordingly
Winter weather often means increased travel times. Plan accordingly so you’re not rushing. Check the weather forecast and road conditions often, and leave yourself extra time to get to your destination.
6. Sharpen your skills
When there’s heavy snow, black ice, or sleet, it’s important to know how to quickly and safely perform emergency maneuvers. Consider enrolling in a Winter Safety Course to sharpen your skills and learn lifesaving techniques like how to control skids, perform emergency lane changes, and properly use your emergency brakes.
Although the number of car accidents increases during the winter months, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t drive anywhere. Avoiding collisions and injuries starts by going slow and staying safe.