Tips for Safe Winter Driving
Winter driving in Canada is just kicking off and most areas in the True North will see lots of snow and ice on the roads for up to six months.
Each province has its own set of winter driving conditions including whether winter tires are required or not, and being behind the wheel during the wintertime is incomparably different than driving in the fall, spring, and summer.
Whether you’re in the blustery Maritimes provinces, frigid Prairies, or temperate GTA or Vancouver areas, these tips can help keep you safe as you navigate through our cold Canadian climate.
Driving on snowy, icy roads during a Canadian winter is all but guaranteed. Yet, many motorists aren’t equipped with the skills or knowledge of how to drive in icy conditions. But we’ve got you covered with a few simple but significant winter driving tips, starting with how to control your car when it slides in slippery conditions.
Tips for driving in the snow
When there’s a snowstorm outside, it’s best to avoid the roads at all costs. However, if you live in a province where winter weather is constantly covered by snow and ice, staying completely off the roads isn’t realistic. Here are a few tips to keep you safe and secure on the snow- and ice-covered roads.
Stay composed and controlled when it's slippery
Never slam on the brakes when it’s snowy or icy.
If you need to stop quickly, pumping the brakes will help you stop faster without sliding. If your car has a modern braking system, you may have felt or heard its anti-lock braking system (ABS) engage, helping you stop in slippery conditions by rapidly pumping the brakes for you.
If your car has a standard transmission, downshifting through the gears can help slow your car down instead of the brakes. This comes in handy especially as you make your way down a hill. Just make sure you don’t feather the clutch as you release it, or you could initiate a skid.
While operating a vehicle on snow- and ice-covered roads, never brake hard or accelerate while turning a corner. If you start sliding as you are braking into a corner, ease off the brakes and point your steering wheel in the direction that you want to go.