Surviving Canadian Winters: 7 Essential Winter Driving Tips

Cars are park during snow. See winter driving tips

Unpredictable times (winters) are on the horizon in Canada, so you must know these winter driving tips to save you any trouble. Particularly, if you are new in Canada, this is a must-read for you.

Although winters bring in the warmth of coffee mugs to hug with your cold hands while sitting beside the fire, daily commutes or visits to grocery stores are unavoidable. Maybe, you may want to explore Canada in icy-cold winters with your jackets and beanies on. 

The bad news is this weather makes driving in Canada dangerous. 

On the brighter side, if you are all prepared for the slush, snowfall or ice, you can enjoy the ride without worry. Most of these winter driving tips are provided by the Canadian Automobile Association (CAA) in collaboration with Public Safety Canada.

Canadian winters driving tips

7 Winter Driving Tips to Safer Travelling during Canadian Winters

For driving safely on snow and ice, you must follow these 7 winter driving advices:

1.Be Proactive and Check the Weather Forecast

As mentioned earlier, winters in Canada are unpredictable. So, to avoid encountering a sudden blizzard, it’s best to stay abreast of the weather forecast of the day you want to travel. You can either delay the plans or find alternate routes. 

The Weather Network provides the best forecasts for BC and issues warnings or alerts before time. It will help you plan your trips accordingly or keep your necessities with you.

2.Slow & Steady Wins the Race

Whether it’s slush, snow-covered roads or fog blinding or blocking your way, it can make driving during snow life-threatening. So, the traffic and safety professionals advise drivers to go slow and maintain a good amount of distance from the vehicle in front. Particularly when the roads are slippery, it is advised to keep good hold of your brakes to prevent accidents.

3.Invest in Good Winter Tires

This is one of the best winter driving tips for Canadian drivers. Winter tires are crucial for driving in cold conditions. These are special rubber compounds that adapt and grip strongly to the road surface without slipping. They add more stability when you drive on slippery, wet or snowy roads and have to change lanes frequently. The winter tires basically work by digging into the ice or snow as you move, preventing your car from slipping.

4.Top-Up Washer Fluids

For winter drives, clear vision and clean windshield matters most. Never leave without topping up your windshield washer fluids. Also, carry extra bottles of washer fluid reserves in your car. Make sure the fluids work best in the -40 degree celsius range. 

Besides these, it is recommended to replace your wiper blades before winter if they streak. Moreover, if you have an auto-defogging and defrosting system for the windshield, that’s a plus.

5.Top Up the Fuel Tank 

Being prepared for the worst during bad weather (heavy snowfall or blizzard) is necessary. Plan ahead and get your fuel tank topped up or at least half full. So, you don’t get stuck in the middle of nowhere with no fuel station in close vicinity.

6.Get Snow Off of Your Car Completely

Before you set out on the road, make sure to get rid of all the snow on the roof, hood, windows and lights. The aim is to be able to widen your visibility and help others see your car clearly. If you are driving during a heavy snowfall, it’s best to pull off in a safe place whenever the visibility is low or your car gets all cloaked in snow.

7.Carry An Emergency Kit

Whenever you are driving in winters or at night, having a complete safety and emergency equipment kit in your car is essential. No, we are not talking about the car tool kit or items you should keep inside your Glove Box. Instead, your basic emergency kit for cars includes:

  1. Food – Granola bars and snacks
  2. Water – plastic bottle don’t break when frozen
  3. Blanket and pillow
  4. Extra clothes, socks and shoes
  5. If you have a medical condition such as blood pressure, migraine, etc; its always necessary to have your medicines with you in your bag and the car.
  6. First aid kit
  7. Seatbelt cutter
  8. Small shovel and scraper
  9. Candle and matchsticks
  10. Flashlight
  11. Whistle
  12. Maps (if you are new in the vicinity)
  13. Salt or sand (for defrosting)
  14. Tow rope
  15. Jumper cables

Besides the emergency kit, it’s necessary to examine your car every time you leave. It includes:

  • Checking your car battery 
  • Tire pressure
  • Headlights beam (low and high) and direction of lights

Be Prepared For the Worst

Despite following all of these winter driving tips, the unforeseen can happen. Probably it’s due to the other driver’s fault, but the unbearable costs can add more pain to your misery. Thus, every Canadian vehicle owner must have car insurance. With premium coverage, your expenses are covered even if it’s the fault of an uninsured driver or weather conditions. 

Get the best Auto Insurance quote in Canada from Choice, the insurance broker providing you with honest and quality coverage plans.