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Is your car winter-ready?

Nov. 1, 2012 - in Advice, Car Accident, Information

Daylight savings time is around the corner which means the first flakes of snow are not far off. Are you ready for the challenges that winter driving presents? When Jack Frost starts nipping at your fender, be prepared with these tips and precautions.

Be an aware driver
Just because you’re prepared for a wintery road doesn’t mean that the cars around you are. Surprisingly, winter weather still catches drivers unprepared with insurance claims increasing by an average of 49 per cent during the winter months with the first snowfall seeing the majority of collisions. Pay extra attention to the road and those around you, watch your blind spots and heed the two chevron distance between cars.

Schedule winter maintenance
Cold temperatures, ice and snow put pressure on your vehicle. To prevent a breakdown or accident during the winter months there are a few things you can do to prep your car.

  • Check your tire pressure, which may drop more quickly in cold weather. Keep them topped up to prevent sliding.
  • Install snow tires with a heavier tread to make navigating slippery snow easier.
  • Ensure your wiper blades are in good condition to keep your view clear while driving.
  • Make sure your lights are all functional so you don’t catch another driver off guard while changing lanes.
  • Top up your windshield wiper fluid and consider switching to a seasonal variety made for cooler temperatures.
  • Don’t forget to keep washing your car in the winter months. Corrosive road salt can damage you underside so be sure to rinse it off occasionally.

Be prepared
In the event of an emergency it’s always good to have, a food supply, water, warm clothing and blankets on hand but also include things like road salt, a shovel and scraper during the winter months. Try to maintain a half full gas tank, this will reduce condensation, making your vehicle easier to start on cold mornings. Make sure to listen to the radio, give yourself extra time and plan your route to avoid slippery spots when possible.

Be a courteous driver
One of the biggest complaints of winter drivers is the complete removal of snow from cars. Many drivers will clear their sidelines and leave piles of snow on top. At fast speeds this snow blows off your car into the car in front of you reducing their visibility. Always clear off all snow from your car to prevent creating a blizzard for the driver behind you.

Don’t fall victim to winter’s wrath. A little extra caution and preparation can ensure your snowy winter isn’t a disastrous one.