Even for the most experienced driver, winter brings on its snowy, icy challenges for those of us living in the Northern Hemisphere. If you’ll be driving in the colder months this year, here are some major tips to help you get safely to wherever you’re going:
Get Your Car Ready for Winter
Get your car ready by taking it in for regular service, and making sure it’s in top shape. A good break system is essential. Also check your battery and lights. Make sure your defroster and windshield wipers are working, and check on all fluid levels. Be prepared before you ever get on the road.
Once you’re on the road, the biggest tip you can follow is this: Drive slowly. This includes accelerating, decelerating, and taking turns more slowly. Remember that speed limits were set for roads in dry conditions. Icy, wet roads make it harder for tires to get a grip on the road, and if you’re going too fast, you will lose control. In especially icy conditions, drop 20 or more km/h below the posted speed limit. Always err on the side of caution.
Keep Your Distance
Because your car will be harder to steer in icy conditions, maintain longer breaking distances. This will give you plenty of time to slow down, and also gives you a chance to react if anything happens. Although most people exercise caution in winter, don’t really on other drivers for your own safety.
Prepare for Skids
If you find yourself skidding on ice, it means you’re driving too fast for the road conditions. The best way to deal with skids is to slow down and avoid them in the first place. But if you do find yourself in that situation, remember these three things: 1) Take your foot of the accelerator. 2) Do not break. Fight the somewhat natural urge to do so. 3) Turn gently in the direction of the skid. This will be whatever direction the back of your car is swinging out to.
In very bad conditions, avoid driving entirely. Always check your local weather advisory and follow their instructions on whether or not it’s safe enough to drive on the road.
We hope you’ll stay safe this winter, and be ready to take on the season’s driving challenges head on. Please call the All Makes Collision Centre in Calgary at