The winter driving season is almost here. What does that mean for drivers? Basically it means that drivers need to adjust their driving style to the winter weather. It also means drivers need to be aware of roads that could be difficult or dangerous to travel on during winter weather.
Here are some tips on safe winter driving:
- Have a survival kit in your vehicle and keep it stocked at all times. Items that you should include in the kit are a blanket, flares, bandages, gloves, booster cables, small shovel, windshield wiper fluid, snow brush, candles, water bottles and non-perishable food such as energy bars.
- Purchase and install winter tires. Winter tires provide increased traction and decrease your braking distance. And now vehicles with winter tires will be eligible for an insurance discount. Check with your insurance company for details.
- Take your time, drive more slowly and give yourself extra time to get to your destination.
- Allow more space between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you. Even with winter tires, your stopping distance in snow and ice is greater than on dry roads. Never tailgate.
- Always clear snow and ice from your vehicle. Not only is it important that you can see clearly from all sides while driving, it’s also important to clear snow, frost and ice from your lights and turn signals so that other drivers can see you.
- Never use cruise control on snowy and slippery roads.
- Check your vehicles wiper blades and signal lights to make sure they are in good working condition. Replace your wiper blades if they are worn or broken. And repair signal lights if they are not working.
- Keep your gas tank at least half full at all times. This will ensure your gas lines do not freeze in very cold weather.
City workers do the best they can to ensure roadway surfaces are clear during winter weather, but there are still things you need to look out for as a driver. What types of roads can be more dangerous during the winter?
Be aware of roads and highways that are open to blowing snow. Some of the smaller highways in and around Hamilton and Burlington can be treacherous in the winter due to blowing snow reducing visibility and winds causing icy road conditions.
A roadway overpass, bridge or otherwise raised roadway that allows the wind to blow underneath it will often have areas of ice and slippery conditions. Be cautious when driving on these types of roadways in the winter, even during a sunny day as icy conditions are not always easily visible.
Any road that has construction zones can pose problems for drivers, and these problems are increased during the winter as the cold and snow add to the treacherous conditions of the road. Slow down and be aware of signs and lane closures. Also be aware and obey posted speed limits.
Finally, if you are traveling at night during the winter, be aware that road conditions have the potential to be more slippery due to the drop in temperatures at night. Slow down and drive aware so that you can reach your destination safely.
If an accident does happen, contact Waterdown Collision to get your car looking like new, and back on the road.