Tips for winter driving
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Taking care of your vehicle is an essential part of driving in any season. During winter, Canadians must take extra precautions to drive safely on slippery, snowy streets. Though we are often reminded of the techniques to make winter driving as safe as possible, We often forget to take the essential precautions to avoid damage to your vehicle during harsh Canadian winters.
Winter driving requires a well-prepared driver that has all the necessary tools to maneuver in harsh conditions. But as experienced a driver can be, it can be dangerous to not take proper care of your vehicle during these times. Even the most skillful drivers can find themselves with a faulty ignition or transmission, keeping them from getting to their destination safely.
Winter driving within cities is particularly tricky, snow and traffic causes more than usual wear and tear on car parts such as tires, breaks and the exhaust system. When driving on congested areas or blocked streets, plan your trip ahead:
Forecast updates. Prepare for snow, rain, fog and by planning for the weather ahead of time. Conditions worsen quickly with freezing temperatures, so check announcements for severe winter weather alerts. Ensure that your windshield wiper fluid is topped off as extreme temperatures could freeze or fog up your windshield, causing poor visibility.
Roads. When driving on the road look for glossy spots on the pavement. These are the most common signs for black ice and slippery roads during winter driving. Pay close attention to your surroundings.
Choose regularly maintained routes. Try to use streets with priority snow clearance such as main roads. Driving on snow cleared roads will make for an easier job removing any frost left on or under your vehicle.
Other than these external factors it is important that you take good care of your vehicles external body as well as the internal engine and system mechanics:
- Getting a battery test. Schedule an appointment to make sure your batteries are in tip-top shape ahead of the temperature drop.
- Preserve your vehicle’s exterior: wash & wax your car regularly to control dirt build-up of mud, snow or ice. Proper treatment will help you avoid rust and minimize the damage to your vehicle.
- Ensure your lights function properly.
- If you don’t drive regularly, start your engine as often as you can to ensure proper fluid movement within your car.
- Be careful with your brakes. be mindful of speed limits. Protect your brakes by applying light pressure and making use of features such as traction control.
- Check clogged or broken exhaust systems. Poor exhaust results in carbon monoxide to penetrate your cabin as well as cause unfavorable effects on the environment. Check for potential leaks and be aware of smoke during winter driving.
- Leave more distance between vehicles than normal when stopping or reducing speed. Slippery road surfaces due to snow or ice can result in skidding or sliding when the brakes are applied too hard or abruptly. Leaving extra space ensures you are able to reach a full stop without hitting the vehicle in front of you.
As a driver, always be conscious of how your decisions while driving would affect everyone around you. This not only includes the way in which you drive but also how you take care of your vehicle. Taking these simple steps would not only improve your overall driving experience but would also ensure the safety of yourself and everyone on the road. If you’d like to learn more about safe driving practices, contact us today!
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