With winter fast approaching, it’s necessary for Ontario drivers to remember how to keep themselves and their loved ones safe on the road. When paired with early nightfall, heavy snowfalls combined with high winds and chilly temperatures can create dangerous driving conditions. That’s why winter driving is something for which Ontarians need to prepare themselves.
So, what can you do to ensure safe driving this winter? Let’s see what motor vehicle accident lawyers in Mississauga have to say.
Essential Winter Driving Tips from Motor Vehicle Accident Lawyers in Mississauga
Here are a few tips to ensure you stay safe when driving hazardous winter roads.
1. Prepare Your Vehicle
First, make sure your vehicle performs properly when harsh weather hit. Follow these tips to ensure it stays safe on the road:
- Park in areas where using your parking brake isn’t required, as they can freeze.
- Avoid using the cruise function on roads with ice or snow, or which are slick.
- Make sure your tire air pressure is as it should be.
- Only warm up your car outside, or at least have your garage door open to avoid fumes building up.
- Park and travel with at least half a gallon of gas in your tank to prevent gas lines from freezing.
- Don’t pull out of your driveway unless you have your seatbelt safely secured.
There are a few additional things to keep in mind when travelling long distances to prevent personal injuries from a motor vehicle accident. To be well-prepared, you should:
- Check the weather conditions of the areas you will travel through and to before leaving the house.
- Make sure your phone is fully charged before heading out.
- Store some food items, water bottles, extra gloves, a hat, blankets, and a flashlight for emergencies.
- Take time to check whether the tailpipe is covered in snow as this will be helpful in keeping fumes out of the car.
2. Slow Down and Stay Alert
Most cases our auto accident lawyers in Mississauga face are the result of drivers going too fast in winter road conditions. This is why they advise drivers to slow down and make certain there is extra space between your car and all others.
It’s also a good idea to get rid of distractions like smartphones, GPS, or any other technological device. Your eyes must at all times be on the road as what appears to be water may turn out to be ice.
When driving around curves, gently steer at low speeds as accelerating quickly, abruptly changing gears, and braking hard can lead your vehicle to skid. Also, do not use cruise control on snowy, icy, or wet pavement as this will reduce control over your vehicle and reaction time. If after taking these precautions your car skids, gently release the brakes and steer the vehicle in the direction you want to drive in without over-steering.
3. Invest in Winter Tires
If you don’t already have them, consider investing in a set of high-quality winter tires. While you may think your all-season tires are sufficient, snow tires are specifically designed for safe driving in harsh winter conditions. They offer better traction, braking, and handling, and can shorten braking distances. This is possible as they have a higher natural rubber content which makes them suppler than their counterparts. Additionally, they have numerous tiny grooves that prevent aquaplaning and disperse water.
4. Use Your Turn Signal
It’s a good idea to let other drivers know your intentions by using your signal before making a turn. This will help the driver in the vehicle behind you understand that they should slow down to avoid crashing into you.
5. Have a Plan B
It’s always a good idea to have a plan B in case you are caught in a Canadian winter storm. So, if you are already on your way and a storm were to hit suddenly, it’s recommended that you take a break from driving and wait for it to pass.
Since driving in peak winter conditions can be tiring, consider having a partner to take over when you can’t drive any further. Motor vehicle accident lawyers in Mississauga know that fatigue is a common reason for car accidents. So, don’t hesitate to search for a motel, especially if both you and your co-driver are too tired to continue.
Driving in winter conditions can be challenging, even for seasoned drivers. By taking the right precautions, you will be better prepared to handle these tricky road conditions and avoid an accident. We hope these tips presented by our auto accident lawyers in Mississauga will help keep you and your family safe this coming winter.