Tips For Safe Winter Driving in Canada - Diamond and Diamond Lawyers

Tips For Safe Winter Driving in Canada


Extremely cold temperatures, ice and snow are facts of life drivers must learn to deal with in Ontario. Winter temperatures in Toronto are usually around 0 degrees Celsius, but they can drop to as low as minus 25 degrees C. You might head to work in the morning under clear, sunny skies and be confronted by a blizzard for your evening ride home. Being prepared for winter driving is important to keep you safe and prevent accidents, so here are a few tips to get you ready for whatever winter might have in store.

Make sure your car is ready

Pack a bag with the items you think you might need to contend with winter weather and hazardous road conditions. Essential items should include the following:

  • Gloves
  • Shovel
  • Sand or kitty litter to improve traction when stuck on icy roads
  • First aid kit
  • Windshield scarper and brush
  • Flashlight
  • Windshield washer fluid rated for freezing conditions
  • Battery booster cables

Add the packed bag to your trunk along with a warm, water-repellant coat and a hat. If your travels take you into remote areas, you might want to pack some non-perishable food items, drinking water and blankets in case your vehicle gets stuck or breaks down.

Before winter sets in, have your car serviced to get it ready for the weather to come. Make certain your mechanic checks the antifreeze and replaces it as needed. Winter tires can make driving safer, so you might want to consider having them installed on all four wheels.

Adjust the way you drive to the weather conditions

Driving at the speed limit is the right thing to do during summer months, but ice and snow on the roads could actually make it unsafe to obey the speed limit. Controlling your car and stopping it on wet or icy roads can be a problem if you are driving at normal speeds. Slow down when road and weather conditions call for it, and leave additional space between your car and vehicles in front of you to allow room to stop.

Slow down when driving on curves. Be gentle when braking or accelerating to avoid skidding.

Watch out for snowplows and emergency vehicles. If you see a snowplow, tow truck or emergency vehicle do not attempt to pass unless it is safe and legal to do so. Pulling into oncoming traffic can be deadly in a snow storm when visibility might be limited causing you not to see or be seen by oncoming vehicles. The better option, particularly when coming up behind a snowplow is to be patient and wait for the driver to pull over before attempting to pass.

Things to check before you leave home

You need to add a few extra steps to your driving routine before heading out during the winter. If you back into a parking space to make it easier to get out, check to make sure your exhaust pipe is not blocked by ice and packed snow. A blocked exhaust can send dangerous and deadly carbon monoxide fumes into the passenger compartment of your car.

Driving with your car’s climate control system set to recirculate can trap moisture from snow on your shoes and clothing inside the vehicle. This causes the windows to fog and could prevent the defroster from clearing them and decrease your ability to see.

Personal injury lawyers can help

Being prepared and taking a few precautions when driving this winter can go a long way toward keeping you and your passengers safe. The personal injury lawyers at Diamond & Diamondare ready to put their years of experience obtaining compensation for accident victims to work for you when you are injured because of the negligence of other drivers.Contact our 24/7 injury hotline at 1-800-567-HURT or visit our website to speak to someone now about your claim. Consultations are free, and we have offices located throughout Ontario.

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