October was car safety month, and over the past 31 days we’ve been sharing tips on Facebook and Twitter to help you prepare for the stressful winter driving season. Now it’s time to review! No, there will not be a test, but consider a safe winter your A+.
5 Tips to stay safe
- Use snow tires. Four of them. And check the pressure at least once a month. As the outside temperature drops your tire pressure will as well, and you won’t get very far on flat tires. Also be sure the tread is more than sufficient to get you through the winter. Worn out snow tires will do you no good.
- Check your windshield regularly for dings and cracks. Cold temperatures can turn that small crack into a serious problem, and let’s face the fact that you can’t drive without a windshield let alone without a windshield in winter!
- Before every trip be sure you have enough gas. No one will be willing to walk for gas in sub-zero temperatures, so this is an important one if you’d like to reach your destination before April. Keeping your tank half full also keeps it happy and healthy.
- Have a flashlight, first aid kit, thermal blanket, and road map. In the event you are stranded or lost these things can keep you warm and on-track. And remember: your smartphone is not a map that does you any good with a dead battery.
- Check the weather. If you don’t need to drive, don’t! This is the most important and easiest tip to follow. Besides, there is more warmth by the fire and hot chocolate indoors than there are on the roads.
How else can I prepare?
If you don’t have one already, we recommend a survival kit to compliment the essentials listed in tip #4. The Insurance Bureau of Canada has a great list of items to include in your kit such as a folding shovel, cat litter, a tow chain, a compass (for your map, not your smartphone), flares, emergency food, booster cables, an ice scraper, extra windshield-wiper fluid, and antifreeze.
Remember that winter weather can be inconsistent and unexpected. Your best bet to stay safe is to stay home. If you absolutely have to drive, however, we hope these tips keep you safe on the roads this winter.