Snow is great for skiing, tobogganing and making snowmen with the kids but not much fun when it comes to driving in it. Now that we’re hearing about the possibility of snow in some parts of Ontario, it’s a good time to review these safety tips for winter driving.
1. Install Snow Tires
Buying four snow tires for your vehicle is a wise investment in your safety since they provide significantly better traction than all-weather or all-season tires. In fact, winter tires have been shown to reduce your braking distance by up to 25%. Using snow tires in winter will lengthen the life of your summer tires as well as save you money on your car insurance.
2. Be Prepared
Before you head out into adverse conditions, there are a number of things you can do to be sure you get there safely:
- Top up your windshield fluid;
- Keep a snow brush and scraper in the car;
- Check conditions with Ontario’s Ministry of Transportation (MTO) by calling 511 or online at Ontario.ca/511 or on Twitter @511Ontario
- Have a snow shovel in the trunk;
- Put an emergency kit in your vehicle that includes:
- A blanket,
- Additional warm clothing, hat and gloves or mitts,
- A flashlight,
- Battery jumper cables,
- Protein or chocolate bars or other non-perishable food.
- Call ahead to your destination so they can take action if you do not arrive when expected.
3. Drive According to Weather Conditions
If it is snowing or sleet or icy out there, consider staying home. If you cannot stay home, leave extra time to get where you’re going and/or just accept the fact you’re going to be late. It is definitely better to be late than get into an accident. You will simply have to slow down and keep a greater distance from the vehicle ahead of you – hopefully you’ve got your winter tires on but do they? Slowing down before going into turns will help you avoid fishtailing or skidding and stay in control. For more safety tips and winter driving advice, visit the MTO’s site.
4. Get Your Winter Tire Insurance Discount
If you’ve bought winter tires for your vehicle, be sure you get your car insurance discount. Call the insurance experts at Mitchell & Whale Insurance Brokers at 1-800-731-2228 or firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll make sure you get the lowest possible rates.