Winter is on its way, and you know what that means: Roads covered with ice and snow! Did you know 90 percent of motor vehicle collisions are preventable? We thought we’d share these simple tips to help you stay cool while driving on snowy and slick roads this winter.
Invest in winter tires
Make sure your car is outfitted with winter tires. Once temperatures dip below +7 degrees C, winter tires give the best tire performance compared to their summer and all-season counterparts. One reason for this is because winter tires use a rubber compound that is less stiff and more pliable in colder temperatures. Another reason is due to their treads. Winter tires have deeper grooves and irregular edges that improve traction on wet, slushy, snowy, icy, and dry cold surfaces.
Make room for everyone on winter roads
Give other drivers space while driving on slippery, snow-covered roads or when your visibility is diminished. Increasing your following distance in winter conditions allows you and other drivers more time to react to what is happening on winter roads.
Be in full control of the wheel
Winter roads are made safer when drivers are in full control of the vehicle. Do not use cruise control when driving on any slippery surface that is wet, icy, or sandy. By having full control of the car, you can react to any changes that may occur while traveling.
Drive to the conditions
Slow down and give yourself more time to travel to where you need to go. According to Parachute.ca, for each 1.6 km/h reduction in average speed, collisions can be reduced by five percent.
Be prepared for emergencies
Have an emergency kit in your car just in case you get stuck in your car for a while. Some items you should have on hand can include:
- A warm blanket
- Road flares
- Flashlight and batteries,
- First-aid supplies
- Booster cables
- Sand or cat litter
- Non-perishable food.
Reduce the distractions
Never use a handheld device while driving. You should also keep the chit-chat on hands-free devices or fiddling with volume or temperature controls in your vehicle at bay. Taking your eyes away from the road, even for a moment, can cause a collision.
Learn your Road SMARTS
Find out more road safety tips by taking the #RoadSMARTS pledge. By taking the Road SMARTS Pledge, you Support Making All Road Travel Safe, which can help improve road safety anyone using the road. When we change the way we behave while on the road, accidents are reduced. For more information and to take the pledge for free, visit https://www.ottawasafetycouncil.ca/road-smarts.