Driving for long periods of time in winter can be nerve-wracking, especially for travellers who aren’t accustomed to it. Winter road trips don’t have to be a source of anxiety if you’re well prepared. We’ve compiled this list of cold weather driving tips to help you hit the road with confidence this winter.
Check the Weather Conditions
Before you leave, you should know if you can expect snow-covered roads or bright sunny skies. Nowadays, weather apps make it extremely convenient to stay regularly updated on any changes during the days before your trip and while you’re on the road. If the weather looks nasty, local news outlets will be able to notify you of any road closures that might affect your route. With winter driving, safety should always come first. If a snowstorm is heading your way, then it might be best to stay home until it passes.
Give Yourself Extra Travel Time
It's no question that it’s easy to get delayed when driving in winter–roads can get blocked by snow or highways may be extra slick. Making sure you have more than enough time to get where you’re going will allow you to drive for the conditions and detour as needed, keeping you safe on the road and making the drive more enjoyable overall.
Keep a Fully-Charged Cellphone on Hand
A cellphone can truly be a lifesaver when you’re on the highway. Emergencies happen, and you always want to be able to call for help if needed. A portable power bank can also be extremely handy if your vehicle doesn’t have a plug or if you’re vehicle breaks down and you can't charge it.
Make Sure Your Tires Are Winter-Ready
Winter tires, or winter-rated tires, are a must when driving on cold and icy roads. Winter tires are a little softer than summer tires, so they offer better traction and handling, allowing you to drive much more safely. And, as with any road trip, don’t forget to check your tire pressure before you leave the city.
Do a Vehicle Safety Check
In addition to tire pressure, there are many other components that should be checked before you head out. Check and top off all fluids, such as oil and window washer fluid, and examine your windshield wiper blades. Things like block heaters and a/c systems are also items you'll want in tip top condition when you're travelling long distances.
Pack Your Winter Kit
This should already be in your vehicle, but if it isn’t yet, make sure to pack your winter kit. The Canadian Automobile Association offers a list of recommended items to keep in your vehicle during the winter months, including road maps, flashlights, first aid kits, ice scrapers, blankets, shovels, and warning lights.
Keep Your Tank at Least Half Full
What could be worse than driving down the highway in -30C and running out of gas, miles away from a gas station? Avoid ending up stranded by making sure you keep your tank at least half full at all times. This may require a couple more fill-ups than you normally would get, but it isn’t worth the risk.
Don't Use Cruise Control
If the road is snowy, icy, or wet, cruise control can actually make driving more dangerous, making it easier to slip and lose control. If you are driving in challenging conditions, stop cruising, slow down, and take control.
Have you been in a winter-related collision this year? Get back on the road in no time, for sure, with Assured Automotive, your number one choice for collision repairs in the GTA and the Ottawa area. From drop-off to pick-up, our skilled licensed technicians are dedicated to delivering an impeccable repair experience through timely communication, service, and delivery; and quality repairs backed by a lifetime warranty for as long as you own your vehicle.
If you are in a collision, Assured Automotive can help to repair your vehicle and get you safely and quickly back on the road.