Canadian terrains turn out to be ominously treacherous during winter months. Unless you are well-poised to deal with the perils, accidents are bound to occur. This explains why experts recommend installing snow tires in winter. Besides warranting the safety of your car, installing these accessories can help you get up to a 5% discount on your insurance premium.
We have come up with some effective winter driving tips for you in this article. First, reach out to your insurance broker to learn how you can get affordable car insurance in Nova Scotia. This way, you can have adequate financial cushioning to bail you out of unpleasant circumstances.
How to prepare your car for snowy terrains
While preparing yourself for harsh driving conditions, it pays to consider aspects beyond your driving skills. Compared to the road conditions in summer, you face an entirely new terrain in winter.
With our tips for winter driving, you can brace up for the frost, sleet, and snow on the roads.
1. Install winter tires
While installing snow tires is mandatory in provinces like British Columbia or Quebec, it’s optional in other provinces. However, it’s wise to get these protective products for your car as a part of your defensive stance against ice and snow.
Winter tires are made from a special type of soft rubber. This helps the tires to adjust to the road surface and ensure better grip by digging deep into the ice and snow. As a result, you can prevent the car from skidding off the road.
Besides, winter tires enhance the car’s drivability, braking, and stability. So, when you make your way through treacherous terrains, these tires warrant safer driving. Besides, they help drivers handle cars with ease while driving on slush or changing lanes on the snow.
2. Clear your car of snow and ice
As per the Ontario Highway Act, drivers need to have clear frontal and side views through the windscreen and window while driving. To enhance visibility, you need to clean the windows. Cleaning your car’s lights will help you see the terrain better, besides making your car more visible.
The accumulation of excess snow on your car’s roof or hood can prove dangerous. With impaired visibility on treacherous terrains, driving can be dangerous when the snow or ice falls. Use brushes and scrapers to clean the snow and ice from your car.
3. Inspect your brakes
Whenever you change your car’s oil in winter, get the brakes inspected. Keep your ears open for squeaking noises as you apply the brakes. In case of any strange noise, consult a mechanic as soon as possible.
It pays to have your brakes in superb conditions in winter. When the roads remain slippery with snow and ice, a shorter braking distance can save your day. Also, practice steady and slow braking that provides enough opportunity for your car to stop.
When you drive through slippery terrains, it’s ideal to be gentle on the accelerator. Before applying brakes, you need to downshift. A firm yet slow pressure applied on the brakes helps steady the pressure. This would also prevent the wheels from getting locked up.
4. Get a winter car kit
It pays to have a winter car kit in place to tackle unprecedented emergencies. No driver likes being stranded when things go wrong. Carry a winter kit in your car that includes the following:
● Road flares
● A first-aid kit
● Thermal blankets
● A snowbrush
● A charger
● High-energy foods and water
Among the tools, you must carry an ice scraper, a snowbrush, and a shovel. The kit should also include extra washer fluid for your windscreen, flashlight, and a few additional batteries. Under emergency conditions, you might require roadside assistance.
5. Maintain a safe distance
One of the prime risks of driving on snowy terrains in Canada is the lack of experience of other drivers. Even if you install snow tires and have substantial experience, others don’t. To be safe, drive slowly and maintain more distance between vehicles. Leaving this space enables both vehicles to brake safely and come to a halt.
Remember, slamming brakes too hard on snowy terrains can lead to the loss of traction. As a result, your vehicle might skid on snow. So, you aim to keep the speed low and maintain a safe distance. Allow drivers who are in a hurry to overtake you and move on.
How to drive in a blizzard in Canada
Blizzards are not uncommon in Canadian winters. So, as a part of our winter driving tips, we recommend some guidelines to mitigate risks while driving through blizzards.
1. Closely observe the road surface
When you drive at night, it is tough to detect black ice. Look out for sidewalks and pavements that look dark or wet, like asphalt. This might be black ice waiting to cause an accident. Commonly, you will come across black ice on shaded areas, bridges, and overpasses.
2. Crossing hills during blizzard
Often, drivers tend to lose traction on hills covered with snow. Leave adequate space in front of you when you go downhill. Compared to normal conditions, braking would need more time. Again, stopping entirely while travelling uphill will cause a complete loss of traction. So, you need to gather some momentum and let it carry the car to the top.
3. Don’t use the cruise control feature
Using the cruise control feature on icy, wet, or snowy roads can prove to be dangerous. It can result in unpredictable acceleration, while you won’t get much time to react or control your car.
Essential winter driving tips — Endnote
Despite how vigilant you are while drawing your line of defence against accidents in winter, mishaps do occur. You may not be at fault, but your vehicle can sustain damages or dents.
So, it’s wise to have the right car insurance policy to remain financially secure as you navigate dangerous roads in the winter. Reach out to reputed insurance brokers to get the right policy recommended. Our winter driving tips for Canada will help you adopt a defensive stance.
Along with this, having an affordable policy to cover your losses will keep you financially resilient.