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Friday, 02 November 2018 05:59

How to Stay Safe on the Highway This Winter

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winter roadsWhether you’re driving across town, across the state line or much further, driving safely on the highway is important not just for yourself and your passengers, but for other road users too.

The number of vehicles on the roads is still increasing. Figures released in June this year show that the number of vehicles registered in Canada, for example, has increased by 1.6% from 2016. Registrations for road motor vehicles reached a staggering 24.6 million. One of the most treacherous times of the year to be driving is just around the corner. Here are some tips for keeping yourself safe on the road.

 

Check Your Car is in Good Working Order

There are several important safety checks you should make before driving your vehicle in the winter even if you’re only driving to the store. Check your battery is fully charged and replace it if necessary. When temperatures drop the power in your battery drops as well, which means more juice is required to start your car. The coolant in your system should be able to cope with colder temperatures. You also need to check there is enough of it. Your tire pressures will also be affected by cold weather so check to make sure they’re properly inflated. Look around your vehicle for bumps, scratches, and for a cracked windshield.   

 

Stock Your Car with Supplies

It might feel like overkill, but you’ll appreciate a selection of winter supplies should you get stuck in the snow. A bag of sand or kitty litter will help if your tires get stuck. Heavy gloves and a blanket will keep you warm when temperatures plummet. Jumper cables, ice scraper, and a flashlight that works will also come in very useful, should you get stuck. You might not need to use them, but if you decide to take them out of your car, it will be the day you find yourself stranded.  You should pop this in the trunk along with a first aid kit and some blankets just in case of any emergencies.

 

Slow Down

Slow and steady will win the race home when the conditions are snowy or icy. Take your time accelerating, stopping, and turning, because the road is less predictable. It’s best not to use cruise control in such conditions, as you need to be in control at all times. The road signs might say 50, but when there’s snow on the ground, these don’t really apply. Use common sense and be aware of the changing conditions. A basic rule to apply as a guideline is to not exceed the speed necessary to travel safely in challenging winter conditions.  

 

Winter Tires

In many places, snow tires are mandatory during winter months. Winter tires have a deeper tread with edges that cut into the snow and provide better grip. However, don’t expect your winter tires to get you out of trouble if you’re driving recklessly. If the snowfall is particularly heavy, you should consider investing in a set of tire chains.

Last modified on Friday, 02 November 2018 20:03
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