The winter season is unavoidable. Not only is the unforgiving and ungovernable onslaught of rough weather part of our yearly lives in Canada, but driving in ice and snow can be dangerous even for seasoned drivers. The holidays are the busiest time of the year, not only for businesses but for ourselves. Driving is inescapable and sometimes necessary.
According to the National Collision Database, 30% of all accidental vehicle collisions happen on wet, snowy, or icy roads. Consequently, insurance company collision-related claims rise to a shocking 49% during December and January. The Canadian Government has specific driving rules for the winter months, and following regulations should be the first step in staying safe.
Readying for an inevitable snowy season should be on every car owner’s to-do list. Nothing is more socially responsible than making your car as accident-proof as possible. Amarz Auto Service has seven safety tips to prepare you for winter driving.
Prepare to Stay Safe
Getting in your car during the holiday season is nearly impossible. With errands to run, relatives to pick up, and party prep involved, leaving your car in the garage is only a viable option for some drivers.
Inspect and Maintain Your Car
The first steps of winter maintenance are checking your batteries, engine, windshield wipers, oil, gas tank, and antifreeze. Putting your car through a professional maintenance service before the winter months is crucial to identifying internal issues that might not be visible at first glance.
Amarz Auto Shop has a car maintenance service in the greater Toronto area.
Become Familiar With Your Vehicle
Read your manual and ensure you know what all emergency lights on your dashboard mean. Knowing how to identify incoming issues with your car is essential to road safety.
Invest in Winter Tires
Identifying the right tires for your vehicle is one of the most important parts of road safety during snow and icy months. It is mandated by law that all passenger vehicles wear winter tires or carry chains for extreme weather conditions. All-weather tires are great, but investing in snow tires increases wet traction. They are designed to grip snow and ice, diminishing the possibility of an accident on the road. If you already have snow tires, make sure they have at least 50% tread left.
Pack Emergency Kits
It’s wise to have emergency essentials in hand. Flashlights, jumper cables, shovels, ice scrapers, sand or kitty litter, flares, and other warning devices should be kept in your vehicle at all times. Safety regulations recommend packing food, water, and medication for long trips. Pack a warm blanket and charge your phone; you might have to make an emergency call.
These safety precautions might seem excessive, but you never know when you’ll be trapped in a snowbank inside your car.
Road and transportation safety laws in Canada state that the safest strategy to prevent severe weather-related accidents is to avoid driving in bad weather conditions. Check weather and travel conditions before heading out, ensuring the roads are drivable.
Give yourself extra time to prepare for your trip and head out; driving slowly in bad weather can prevent accidental collisions. Most importantly, stay sober, make sure your headlights are visible and remain on the main roads. We also recommend a winter driving course.
Warm Up Your Vehicle
Turning on your engine a few minutes before heading out is a sure way to prevent inopportune stalling. However, if you partake in warming up your vehicle before any trip, avoid enclosed spaces like garages to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.
If You Get Caught in a Storm, Stay Calm
Don’t partake in shoveling or heavy lifting in the bitter cold. It can kill you. Wait for the storm to pass or seek immediate shelter. If you have to weather the storm inside your car, make sure the tailpipe is not blocked by snow to keep carbon monoxide from leaking inside your vehicle. Keep your motor running to a minimum and keep a window slightly cracked open on the side sheltered from the wing for fresh air supply.
Don’t put it off!
Hundreds of thousands of accidents happen in Canada yearly during the winter months in steady increments. The best way to avoid them is to consider our safety tips. Driving during the snowy months is a stressful experience, but knowing you are following every safety advice possible and keeping your vehicle in pristine condition only lessens the burden on your shoulders.
We will assist you with your winter vehicle preparation!
If you’re looking for thorough winter car maintenance, Amarz Auto Service will do all the heavy lifting for you with our services. Your safety is our top priority. Follow the safety tips above and take your vehicle to an authorized maintenance shop before it’s too late.