Along with colder temperatures, snow, and ice, winter also brings potentially dangerous driving conditions. Slippery roads and decreased visibility can make driving in Canadian winters a challenge.
Get prepared by following a few simple tips, provided by Public Safety Canada in collaboration with the Canadian Automobile Association.
Slow down – Fog, black ice, slush or snow-covered roads can make driving dangerous. Drive slowly and leave plenty of distance between vehicles.
Get winter tires – Traction is the key to good movement, turning and stopping on wet, slushy or icy surfaces. Check tires and tire pressure at least once a month when tires are cold and remember that tire air pressure decreases in colder weather. Winter tires provide additional traction in colder weather.
Top-up windshield fluid - Fill up on winter washer fluid and replace wiper blades that streak. Make sure there is enough windshield washer fluid in the reservoir and that it is rated in the -40C temperature range. Carry an extra jug in the vehicle.
Keep the gas tank topped up - When driving in bad weather, think caution, plan ahead and make sure you have enough fuel. Keep the fuel tank at least half full.
See and be seen - clear all snow from the hood, roof, windows and lights. Clear all windows of fog or ice. If visibility becomes poor, find a place to safely pull off the road as soon as possible.
Get an emergency car kit – Have the appropriate safety and emergency winter equipment always stored in your car. The basic emergency kit for cars should include the following items:
Food – that won't spoil, such as energy bars
Water – in plastic bottles so they won't break if frozen (change every six months)
Extra clothing and shoes
First aid kit – with seatbelt cutter
Small shovel, scraper and snowbrush
Candle in a deep can and matches
Whistle – in case you need to attract attention
Copy of your emergency plan
Also keep these inside your trunk:
Sand, salt or cat litter (non clumping)
Antifreeze/windshield washer fluid
Warning light or road flares
Print or download an Emergency car kit checklist. Check off the items for your car emergency kit as you accumulate them.
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