Winter Driving Tips
We’ve already had our first brush with winter for the year, with several inches of snow falling over the last few weeks. While plows and crews armed with salt and sand can make quick work of clearing major roads, there are plenty of places where snow, ice, poor visibility, and traffic congestion can lead to big headaches for drivers. So what are some ways that you can help ensure that you – and your vehicle – will make it through to spring? Here are some easy winter driving tips to keep in mind until then!
1. Be prepared. Which would you rather have – a few minutes of prep time before you’re on the road, or hours and days of stress after an accident? Many collisions during winter are preventable, and can be attributed to factors that are directly within the driver’s control. Get a set of proper winter tires, as they are designed specifically to have better traction on snow and ice. Invest in a decent snow brush to keep in the vehicle, and be sure to clear off all windows, mirrors, and headlights, as well as built-up snow on horizontal surfaces, before leaving your parking spot. And just in case, don’t forget to keep emergency items like jumper cables, reflective triangles, a flashlight and tools, and a small shovel in your car or truck as well – not only will they help you get unstuck from heavy snow, but they will help other drivers avoid hitting you in poor conditions.
2. Drive carefully. You could be the world’s best driver, but you simply can’t account for everything that’s happening outside your vehicle! And winter magnifies these issues many times over. There may be 100 metres of pure ice beneath some blowing snow, or there could be an abandoned car or an emergency vehicle on the shoulder that you can’t see because of a blizzard. By taking the time to drive slowly and smoothly, planning well in advance of turns, and leaving enough space between you and the car ahead of you, the likelihood of an accident can plummet.
3. Know how to fix things if they go wrong. Many winter drivers are unaware of the correct actions to take in a bad situation, like during a skid or if their vehicle hydroplanes. Refresh your memory on how to deal with the most common winter problems, and if you find yourself facing one, it’s easier to not panic and know how to recover. For a skid, for example, turn into the direction of it and accelerate. And here’s a free tip: never use cruise control during a snowstorm or on icy roads, as it may try to speed up the vehicle if there’s a loss of traction on ice, leading to fishtailing or skidding.
4. Simply pay attention. No one factor is going to be more helpful than this. Be aware of what’s going on around you, and how the people nearby are reacting. Stay alert to possible problems and keep your eyes on the road. Remember, it’s much better to get home late than to come home with injuries and a wrecked vehicle!
Keep these hints in mind to have a less stressful time on the Calgary roads this winter. And if you need winter tires installed, maintenance work done, or a check-up performed, why not let us help you out? Call Lakeview Automotive at 403-242-1575, or simply use our easy online contact form, and we’ll have your car ready to roll again in no time. We look forward to seeing you soon!