Posts Taged winter-driving

Snowy Calgary roads
What to do when your car get stuck on snowy Calgary roads

When you are trying to drive during the winter, you are bound to run into some less than desirable conditions. This is very true when you are driving in Calgary. When driving in these conditions, you must know what to do if your car gets stuck on these snowy Calgary roads.

 

Keep the proper tools in your car

It is much easier to get out of a messy situation when you have the proper tools in your car. Keeping a shovel, some road salt, and kitty litter can be very important when you get stuck. Instead of having to wait for a tow truck or good Samaritan, you will be able to dig yourself out and be on your way. These items can be purchased at a very low cost at most grocery or hardware stores.

 

Keep your approach straight and easy

Trying to get out of a bad situation when you are stuck can seem overwhelming. However, keeping calm and addressing the situation with precision and calmness will help you get unstuck faster than you would otherwise be able to. Make sure that your wheels are kept straight as you continue to slowly accelerate out of your position. When you slam on the gas, you are just going to spin your tires. You need to make sure that you are gradually accelerating out of the situation that you are in. This is the easiest way to gain traction on the already slippery road.

 

Signal for help if you need it

When the road conditions are just out of control, you sometimes need to call for help. You will be surprised at how helpful fellow motorists can be when you are in this type of situation. Turn on your hazard lights and wave for help. Sometimes a simple push can get your car the traction it needs. If you can’t move a budge even with the help of fellow motorists, it is time to call a tow truck.

 

Dealing with poor road conditions can be difficult for everyone involved. It is important to stay calm during these situations as you will have a much more likely time making it out safely with a calm mindset.

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Common Winter Car Accidents in Calgary
Common Winter Car Accidents in Calgary

Winter driving is no laughing matter, as any Calgary native will tell you. With road conditions variant in inclement weather, it can be easy to lose control of the wheel and experience an accident during winter driving. By staying on top of some of these common accidents, however, you can better prepare for driving in winter conditions.

 

Fishtailing

When your vehicle begins to lose traction on a slippery road, you may experience something called fishtailing. As you swerve to regain control of your vehicle, you are in immediate danger of colliding with any number of surrounding obstacles. This type of accident is especially common along backwoods where trees present an all-too common danger.

 

Rear-End Collisions

Fishtailing can even occur on the highway or city roads. When you are driving quickly and need to brake for a light, be sure to stop your car at a slow and controlled pace. Icy road conditions may sometimes move the vehicle towards another car, resulting in a rear-end collision.

 

Crossing Collisions

This same problem translates to busy intersections where you need to pay attention to other drivers. Sometimes, even when you are as careful as can be, another driver may be experiencing a problem on the road. No matter where you are, be sure to give yourself a little bit more stopping space and always be mindful of stop signs in order to avoid an unforeseen problem.

 

Visibility Problems

Driving during a storm is often inevitable. When you need to make a trip down during a snowstorm, it is important to be as cautious as possible, or even avoid the trip altogether if it is possible. Poor visibility can result in all types of problems for drivers, no matter how careful they are being. Keep your lights and wipers in top condition to give yourself the edge during a particularly stormy drive.

 

If you have recently experienced an accident and need the assistance of capable professionals to help you, be sure to contact All Makes Collision Centre

(403) 536-0518

. The representatives will be more than happy to answer any questions you may have.

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Winter Driving in Calgary
Five Major Tips for Driving in Calgary this Winter

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.

 

Drive Slowly

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.

 

Stay Home

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

(403) 536-0518

for any questions.

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Winter Driving – 8 Steps to Winterizing Your Vehicle

winter drivingAs much as it may be tough to face the facts, Calgary Winter is around the corner.

In a few months we will be faced with the reality of shorter days, colder temperatures, and probably even the ‘S’ word. No not that ‘S’ word. I mean SNOW!

Now, I am not sure if you’ve noticed this, I know I have, it’s the same every year. It seems every Calgary driver that has driven in Calgary winters for who knows how many years just down right forgets how to drive in the winter.

Every year, first snowfall, there are cars in the ditch, bumper humpers peppering the streets, and preposterous traffic delays everywhere as a result. (On that note stay tuned for an article to come soon on bumper repair).

How can we as a collective avoid this during winter driving? One way is to make sure your vehicle is ready for winter conditions.

Here are eight tips to help you out:

Battery

The battery of your car is like its heart. Without it properly functioning, you’re not going anywhere, and winter driving with a bad battery is a disaster waiting to happen. To ensure proper maintenance of your battery check the following:

  • Are the posts and connections corrosion-free? Corrosion looks like white, crusty residue and if it build up it becomes difficult for your vehicle to connect to the battery, ie: car won’t start. Whether you clean them yourself or have your battery serviced it is up to you and your know-how and comfort level, just get `er done!
  • How old is your battery? If it is older than three years have it tested. Its ability to hold a charge diminishes over time.
  • If you do have an older battery make sure to carry an extension cord with you and plug the vehicle in when temperatures reach around -15C to -20C or lower.

 

Tires For Winter Driving

I cannot stress enough the importance of winter tires. We live at the base of the Rocky Mountains for crying out loud, in a continental climate, this means snow and cold arctic exposure. Snow tires help maintain traction during winter driving.

Whether your vehicle is a rear-wheel drive sports car, a front-wheel drive sedan or an all-wheel drive SUV, the most effective safety measure one can have is the “contact patch”, this is the section of tire that touches the road.

No matter your AWD system, winter tires = good grip on the road, are an important safety measure.

“All-season tires do not have cold weather rubber compounds, channelling tread patterns, the large number of tread sipes (tiny slits in the tread blocks) for wet surface control, and the open tread block pattern for deep snow traction that winter tires feature,” explains fountaintire.com.

To ensure a good quality winter tire look for a snowflake symbol.

Windshield

Do you have a crack or chip in your windshield? Summer road trips are the culprit of much windshield damage. No big deal, these small cracks and abrasions can be fixed quite easily. Especially if caught while they are still small.

It is wise to deal with these before the weather drops. Holes and cracks leave the glass subject to retraction and expansion with fluctuating weather. As a result small issues can spider web out overnight. If this happens, a full windshield replacement may be necessary.

Make sure to repair any windshield damage before snow and freezing rain. Your visibility is important in the winter so improve it by ensuring your windshield is in great condition.

You should also determine if you need a full windshield replacement.

Windshield Wiper Blades

Check your wiper blades. Any blemishes in the field of vision may indicate a damaged wiper blade. Streaks or areas left unclear after the wiper has swiped are indications you may need a new wiper blade.

Mr. Windshield Wiper Blades very aptly states, “A windshield wiper has no protective cover, of course. Even when not in use, it sits in its receptacle between the windshield and the hood subjected to the wind, rain and sun, 24 hours of every day, 365 days of every year. A wiper blade begins deteriorating the very minute it’s installed to the vehicle.”

So how often shoulwindshield_wipersd you have your wiper blades replaced?

If there are visible symptoms such as splitting, cracking, disintegration, discolouration, etc. those are sure-fire signs it’s time for a new blade.

The useful life of a wiper blade in generally around a year, however this differs depending on what your wipers are made out of.

Ordinary rubber has the shortest life span, halogen-hardened rubber a bit longer, and silicone the longest. Life span on the two latter materials can be over a year, up to three depending on use and weather conditions.

For more information read our post on windshield wipers.

 

Other Things to Consider

  • Four Wheel Drive? If your vehicle has four wheel drive, check the system to make sure it’s functioning correctly before tackling winter driving.
  • Antifreeze topped up? Does your radiator have the correct amount of antifreeze, and has it been mixed properly?
  • Emergency Kit? Just in case, make sure to keep the following in your car; a blanket, extra gloves, hats and scarves, a car cell phone charger, an extension cord, a scraper, jumper cables, a spare tire, a first aid kit, a flashlight. If you get stuck or stranded these items can literally save your life.

 

Be Cautious

Drive the appropriate speed for the conditions. Yes there are maximum speed limits however this doesn’t mean you have to go that fast. Slow down when road conditions are poor and take your time to drive alertly and defensively.

Stay tuned for a post on bumper repair.

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