According to a TD Insurance poll, a quarter of Canadians feel panicked when they drive in the winter, with 36 percent of drivers avoiding the roads unless they absolutely have to drive. Canadians should be some of the best winter drivers in the world. Unfortunately this isn’t always the case.
Here are 3 common winter driving issues we have noticed.
1. You don’t adjust your speed for the weather conditions. Speed limits are set for ideal road conditions—that is, dry asphalt and clear sightlines. The instant you add moisture and limited visibility to your drive, your speed should drop. Don’t be fooled by a seemingly clear road—we’ve all heard stories of drivers hitting patches of invisible black ice and skidding out of control. Slow down.
2. You don’t leave enough space. It takes four to ten times longer to brake in snowy or icy conditions, which means that you need to leave yourself a lot more space to stop and maneuver. Make sure you leave even room for trucks, and never pass them on the right—they take a lot more space to brake, and have a huge blind spot on their right side. Always give trucks a wide berth.
3. You aren’t prepared for something to happen. Hopefully, you won’t end up in a ditch, but it happens to the best of us, so make sure you’re prepared. If you end up stuck, the safest place to be is in your car. Run the engine for about ten minutes every hour to stay warm (make sure to crack your window a little, or check your tailpipe to make sure it isn’t blocked and sending exhaust into the car). Pack an emergency kit with what you might need: extra warm clothes, a blanket, matches, a safety candle, snacks like energy bars, bottled water, a first aid kit, a collapsible shovel, kitty litter or sand for traction, paper towels, a tow chain, booster cables, and flares. And make sure to charge your phone before you leave.
Take care when driving this winter.
Dedicated to services,
The Slave Lake Registries Team