What To Do When a Winter Storm Hits
January 15, 2018
Winter driving is a necessary skill for most Canadians. There is always a possibility of a sudden snowstorm that can cause white-out conditions while you’re on the road. It can be a very stressful circumstance to drive through, but there are a few ways you can prepare yourself and your car to take on even the most severe winter driving conditions. Here’s how:
Winter Tires are a must!
All-season tires harden around -10 °C, but winter tires remain flexible until -40 °C. This allows them to grip the road better. It’s always highly recommended to get four of the same tires, including make and model. While getting your winter tires installed, make sure to ask your mechanic to check fluid levels, brakes and heating systems.
Pack an emergency car kit
If you’re stranded somewhere due to a severe snowstorm these items could potentially save your life. Grab a medium-sized bin for your trunk and fill it with the winter essentials, including a(n):
- Extra bottle of window washer fluid
- Phone charger
- Small shovel
- Battery-powered radio
- Bag of non-perishable snack food (like granola or energy bars)
- Box of matches
- Bottle of water (or a case if you’re travelling a long way)
Learn and practice winter driving
If you’re new to Canada or don’t have experience driving in the snow then try to go out and get some driving practice. Ideally, its best to drive during regular day-time traffic and have a partner with you if you need additional support.
Even the most experienced drivers are susceptible to accidents, especially if you’re driving a new car that you haven’t used in winter yet.
After the first snowfall, take your car out to an empty parking lot and drive it around to get a feel for the maneuvering. This will give you the chance to see how the vehicle reacts to winter conditions.
More winter driving tips
When driving in winter, use small amounts of pressure on the gas, brakes and steering wheel, while also moving your hands slowly. Abrupt movements can break traction and cause you to skid.
Keep your eyes focused far ahead. Having your eyes focused down the road can reduce head movement and moderate your steering actions. This can reduce your chances of sliding.
Change lanes slowly, smoothly and at the appropriate times. The less movement your car makes, the less chance there is for it slip or skid out of control. If you ever find yourself sliding, keep your eyes focused on where you want to go and steer into the spot.
And most importantly take your time and drive slowly!
Plan your route and check weather and road conditions
Ensure you have a clear idea of where you’re going, take the time to find alternate routes in case roads get shut down. Check weather and road conditions before you leave to make sure roads are clear and if they’re not, consider waiting until they’ve been plowed or the majority of traffic has passed.
You’ve got your car packed and tires on. Now, it’s time to hit the road. Make sure your windshield washer fluid is full and scrape off any ice or snow buildup around your wheel wells and tires. Fill up your gas tank when going on any long-distance drives and try to keep the tank around half-full during the winter months.
With these winter driving tips you and your family will be able to get to your destination safely, no matter the winter conditions. If your vehicle requires winter maintenance contact Xtreme Tire Garage. We carry a wide supply of branded winter tires and professional auto services. Contact us to book an appointment today!
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