These winter driving tips will keep you safe on Ontario roads

by Feb 28, 2023Car tips, Driving tips0 comments

Whether we like it or not, heavy snow is falling in some parts of Ontario. But the good news is,  we’ve got some useful winter driving tips for everyone, whether you’re driving in snow for the first time or a seasoned driver looking for a quick refresher. 

During a Canadian winter, driving on snowy, icy roads is almost unavoidable. However, many drivers lack the necessary skills and knowledge to drive in icy conditions. But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with a few simple but important winter driving tips, beginning with how to control your car when it slides in slippery conditions. These winter driving tips can help keep you safe on Ontario roads.

Check your vehicle

Before setting out on a winter drive, it’s important to ensure that your vehicle is in good condition. The first winter driving tip is to check the tires, brakes, and battery to make sure they are working properly before you hit the road. You should also top up your antifreeze, check your oil, and replace your wiper blades if necessary.


Plan your route

When driving in the winter, it’s essential to plan your route in advance. Avoid routes that are prone to traffic, and check the weather forecast before leaving to ensure you are prepared for any unexpected conditions.

winter driving tips Ontario

Slow down

Driving at a slower speed is one of the best ways to stay safe in winter conditions. Slowing down gives you more time to react to hazards on the road and can help prevent skids and accidents. The goal is for everyone to arrive safely at their destination, not quickly. Slow down and maintain a safe distance between yourself and the vehicle in front of you at all times. This is the most important winter driving tip for all Ontario drivers should follow.


Keep a safe distance

In winter conditions, it’s important to increase your following distance to at least six seconds. This gives you enough time to react to sudden stops or obstacles on the road.

Always maintain a safe distance if you find yourself behind a snow plow. Snow plow drivers do not always have the best visibility and can create clouds of snow, which can also reduce your visibility.


Use your lights

Using your headlights, even during the day, can make you more visible to other drivers on the road. Make sure your headlights are clean and in good condition, and consider using fog lights if necessary.


Clear your windows and mirrors

If you’re going for a drive and it’s windy, snowing, or freezing cold outside, make sure your car is clear to ensure clear visibility from the driver’s seat. Brush off all of your car’s windows, hood, taillights, and headlights. Before driving, it’s important to clear all windows and mirrors of snow, ice, and frost. This ensures you have a clear view of the road and helps prevent accidents.


Use winter tires

Winter tires provide better traction, handling, and braking on snowy and icy roads and can significantly reduce the risk of accidents. Winter tires can cut your braking distance by up to 25%. Make sure your winter tires are in good condition and have the appropriate tire pressure. 


Avoid sudden maneuvers

Avoid sudden braking, acceleration, or turning in winter conditions, as this can cause skids and accidents. Instead, try to make smooth and gradual movements.


Know how to handle skids

In the event of a skid, it’s important to know how to handle your vehicle. To recover from a skid, turn your steering wheel in the direction you want to go and gently apply the brakes.


Keep an emergency kit

In case of an emergency, it’s important to keep an emergency kit in your vehicle. Gloves, booster cables, a small shovel, windscreen wiper fluid, a first aid kit, a torch, a snow brush, candles, a safety vest, water bottles, and non-perishable energy foods should all be included in your survival kit.


Stay alert and focused

Finally, it’s important to stay alert and focused while driving in winter conditions. Avoid distractions like texting or eating, and take breaks as needed to avoid fatigue.


By following these essential winter driving tips, you can stay safe and prepared while driving in winter conditions on Ontario roads. Remember to always prioritize safety on the roads and plan ahead to avoid unexpected hazards.

Stay safe and happy driving!

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