Tips for Driving Safely in Snowy Weather in Ontario

  • First, it’s important that you get adequate sleep before you start driving in snowy weather. Getting adequate sleep will reduce driving risks.
  • Be sure that your tires are properly inflated.
  • Don’t mix radial tires with other tire types.
  • Keep your gas tank half full during cold temperatures to prevent the gas line from freezing.
  • Try to avoid using your parking brake in cold, snowy weather.
  • Don’t use cruise control.
  • Make sure that your exhaust pipe isn’t clogged with snow or ice.
  • When driving in snowy weather, it’s important that you accelerate and decelerate slowly. By slowly accelerating, you can regain traction and avoid skidding. Drive slowly in snowy weather. If you see a stoplight turning yellow or red, take your time to slow down. It takes longer to decelerate in snowy weather.
  • Following distance should be increased during snowy weather. While following behind vehicles, you should keep a following distance between eight to 10 seconds. You’ll have a longer distance if you need to suddenly stop.
  • The best way to stop during snowy weather is to use threshold braking.
  • Don’t stop while you’re driving if you can avoid it.
  • If you’re driving up hills, don’t try to accelerate quickly. If you try to accelerate quickly while you’re driving up a hill, your wheels will start spinning. Try to accelerate before you reach a hill. Once you reach the top of the hill, you’ll want to reduce your speed and drive down the hill as slowly as possible.

Dangers of Winter Driving

Winter is the most dangerous season for drivers. Many car accidents are weather-related. Winter weather usually brings heavy snow and freezing rain in many areas in Canada.

The two main culprits while driving in winter weather is ice and black ice. Ice forms on roadways when the roadway is wet and its surface temperature drops below freezing. Ice may still be on roadways even if it isn’t freezing cold outside.

Ice can prevent your tires from getting a good grip. If this happens, this can cause steering and stopping to be difficult. Icy roadways are extremely dangerous, but black ice is even more dangerous. Black ice is a thin layer of ice that causes a roadway to look wet instead of icy. Black ice usually forms at night or early in the morning. Typically, drivers’ don’t notice black ice until they’ve lost control of their vehicle.

The Importance of Winter Tires

Experts recommend that you have winter tires or snow chains on your all-wheel-drive vehicle if you’re driving in a blizzard or icy conditions. Driving through the snow using all-season tires is a safety risk. Remember, your all-season tires are probably worn. Even a four-wheel-drive vehicle will slip and slide on snowy roads if its tires don’t have enough tread.

An all-wheel-drive vehicle equipped with all-season tires probably won’t deliver safe braking and sharp turns during icy or snowy weather conditions.

Winter tires are built for better road grip. Winter tires are specifically made for rain, ice, snow, and slush. Winter tires are made with specialized rubber that stays softer during cold temperatures compared to all-season tires. Winter tires are designed with tread features such as deeper, bigger grooves, irregular edges and other variations to improve gripping.

An all-wheel-drive vehicle with all-season tires will be beneficial while you’re accelerating on snowy roads, but it won’t be beneficial for turns or stopping.

Purchasing winter tires for your all-wheel-drive vehicle will deliver the road grip that you need during most winter weather conditions. For the worst weather, be sure to have a set of chains in your trunk.

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