Snow may be pretty, but it’s not so pretty when it’s on the road. When winter creeps up and road conditions worsen, it’s more important than ever to drive with caution. To stay safe on the road this winter, follow our top 5 winter driving tips.
1. Drive with Winter Tires
Don’t think you need winter tires? Think again. When the temperature drops and snow hits the road, winter tires are a must-have for safe driving. Unlike all-season tires, winter tires offer good traction in snowy and icy road conditions. When should you switch to winter tires? Well, don’t wait until the first snowstorm. Change your tires early and make sure to change all four of them for balanced traction and safer driving.
2. Drive Slowly in the Snow
This might seem like a no-brainer, but it’s important to drive slowly when winter road conditions hit. For a smoother ride with less risk of skidding, press and release the gas pedal slowly when you’re speeding up and slowing down. When there’s snow or ice on the road, it’ll take your car longer to come to a full stop. So, maintain a good distance from the car ahead and allow yourself plenty of time to brake. And remember, one of the best things you can have when driving in the snow is patience.
3. Rethink Your Route
If you drive the same route every day, you may need to rethink it – especially if it involves driving on small, unplowed streets and icy hills. If you can’t avoid those snowy hills on your way to work or school, then learn how to navigate them safely without spinning out or slipping backward. Before you climb a hill, accelerate to build momentum. Then keep a steady foot on the gas without pressing too hard. Wheels spinning as you go uphill? Let some pressure off the gas. Finally, keep going and try not to stop (unless you have to, of course). With proper snow tires and a bit of winter driving practice, you’ll find your way through these winter conditions.
4. Prepare for Long-Distance Winter Driving
Whether you’re driving across Canada or hitting or heading up the Sea to Sky Highway this winter, it’s crucial to prepare yourself for any long-distance trip. Before you set off, check the weather and road conditions for highway closures and accidents, and plan your route accordingly. And in the rare event that you end up stalled on a snowy highway, have a winter emergency kit tucked away in your car. For emergency phone calls, keep a car charger or power pack handy for your phone.
5. Stay Off Winter Roads
What’s the best way to avoid a winter driving accident? Stay off the road altogether. If you can, save yourself the trouble of driving through Snowmageddon and stay home instead. If you must make your way to the office or classroom, then take public transit instead. Check the alerts on your public transit company’s website, and plan accordingly so you can get to where you need to be.
From all of us at Johnston Meier Insurance, stay safe on the road this winter!