Driving in snow and ice requires quick reflexes, patience and know-how.
If you can’t avoid driving in wintry conditions, make sure you and your vehicle are ready for the challenge.
Also, try to time your trip so you follow snowplows and ice/sand trucks rather than leading the way.
Do you have the right tires?
Worn tires are particularly dangerous on slippery roads. You may also want to consider winter tires even if
they aren’t legally required in your province. According to Edmunds, winter tires are designed to stay
pliable and grippy at lower temperatures. However, they need to be replaced more frequently than
standard tires. Once they get down to a tread depth of 6/32 inches, they’re no longer effective.
Here are 15 winter driving to keep in mind:
- Take a few minutes to fully clear your car of ice and snow before starting off. This will give you
better visibility, and it’s the law in some places. Motorists have been seriously hurt and even killed in
accidents caused by chunks of ice and snow flying off other vehicles at high speeds.
- Drive slowly and leave yourself enough room to safely stop. Increase your following distance to 6-8
seconds. Also, don’t try to beat out yellow lights.
- Use low gears to maintain traction, especially on hills.
- Don’t use overdrive or cruise control on icy roads.
- Don’t pass snowplows or sand trucks. Take extra care when passing other vehicles on wintry
- Keep your windshield clean and make sure your windshield washer system has ample anti-icing
fluid. Before you start your trip, make sure the fluid jets aren’t blocked and that your wipers aren’t
frozen to the windshield.
- Defog the inside of your windows by running your air conditioner. Choose the fresh-air option
rather than recirculated air.
- Even during daylight hours, drive with your lights on to increase your visibility and help others see
you. Make sure your headlights and taillights are clean and clear of snow.
- Brake carefully to prevent skidding. If you feel your wheels starting to lock up, gently ease off the
brakes rather than slamming down on them.
- Watch out for black ice. Black ice is a thin, slippery glaze that can make the road appear merely
wet or even clear and dry, depending on the lighting.
- Stay in your lane, especially when visibility is poor.
- Be especially careful on bridges, overpasses, off-ramps, shady spots and infrequently traveled
roads, which tend to freeze first. (Refer to the black ice warning above.)
- Train yourself to respond properly to skids. If you begin to slide, turn in the direction your rear
wheels are sliding. If the back end of your vehicle is sliding to the right, for example, turn your
steering wheel to the right. Don’t overcompensate or attempt sudden swerves.
- Keep your gas tank topped up in the winter to reduce the amount of water vapour that could
potentially condense and sink into your fuel pump and fuel lines. This can block fuel flow to the
- Don’t get overconfident. Even if you frequently drive in poor conditions and have a car with four-
wheel drive and snow tires, accidents can still happen. Winter drivers must remain alert at all times.
Make sure you have the right insurance to protect you and your vehicle
Before you venture out in adverse weather, follow these steps to arrive at your destination safely. Also,
make sure your auto insurance is up to date. Talk to your insurance broker about your current coverage
and discuss any recommended changes to help protect your vehicle and wallet from winter hazards.
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Reliance Insurance Agencies
4853 Hastings Street
Burnaby, BC V5C2L1