Winter is Coming – Driving Safety Tips
It’s that time of year again. The leaves are changing, the days are getting shorter, football season is in full swing and everyone is donning their favourite sweaters. Fall is certainly here.
Although fall is one of my favourite seasons, it also means that winter is fast approaching. Unfortunately, as a personal injury lawyer, I have seen first hand that falling snow means more car accidents are likely to happen. Thankfully, many of these accidents can be avoided with the proper preparation. The point of this post is to provide you with the resources to make sure that you and your family are as safe as possible on the roads this winter.
The reason I am writing about this topic is because my wife is about to experience her first full winter in London, Ontario. Last week I asked when she planned on getting winter tires for her car. She asked if I thought she really needed them… and in that moment I realized that, like many drivers in Ontario, she isn’t used to having to prepare for a long winter on the road.
You see, we both grew up in Essex County. Essex is known for hot, humid summers and relatively mild winters, at least in terms of snowfall. Despite being so close, London receives approximately 25 extra inches of snow every winter, when compared to Windsor. Many people in Windsor don’t see the need for winter tires. However, you never know when the roads are going to turn icy and become hazardous.
Below is a list of some precautions you can take to ensure that you are as safe as possible when driving this winter. I hope that they help you avoid having a serious accident this winter. Sometimes, despite taking every precaution accidents still happen. If you are in an accident and need help, Lerners Personal Injury Lawyers are just a phone call away.
- Get Winter Tires – they help with traction on cold, icy roads and shorten your braking distance by up to 25%! If you have all-season tires, at least check the tread to make sure there is enough to get a good grip on the road.
- Make sure your car, including all windows and lights, is clear of snow before you leave – you need to make sure you have full visibility while driving and make sure the headlights and taillights are clear so that you are visible to others.
- Keep more space between you and the car in front of you – you don’t know when another vehicle may lose control, or have to make an emergency stop. Be aware that your vehicle will not stop as fast as when you are on dry, warm roads.
- Don’t speed – the faster you go, the more likely you are to lose control or be unable to stop in time. This is especially important when attempting to make a turn.
- Don’t use cruise control – cruise control is great when road conditions are excellent, but when conditions are questionable, using the cruise control can lead to loss of control of your vehicle and slower reaction times when faced with an emergency.
- Learn how to control your vehicle while in a skid – understand how your vehicle operates (rear wheel drive, front wheel drive, four wheel drive, etc.) to better understand how to react if your vehicle starts to skid during bad road conditions.
- Check the road conditions before you leave and plan accordingly – give yourself extra time to get to your destination and plan the safest route for you to travel when winter conditions are going to get bad.
Driving Safety Tips – Additional Resources
Winter Driving: Shareable Resources
Winter driving tips for Ontario drivers
11 winter driving tips to keep you safe on Ontario roads
Be Prepared for Winter Driving