If you’re new to winter driving, you’re likely to be faced
with challenges when you hit the road in icy or snowy weather. While the best tactic to take when the roads
get really nasty is to avoid driving altogether, sometimes it can’t be helped. If that’s the case, here are some handy tips
to keep you safer on the road:
- If possible, wait until the snow plows and
sanding trucks have cleared the roads of ice and snow.
- Make sure your windshield, mirrors, lights and
windows are clear of snow and ice before you start driving to ensure maximum
- Turn on your lights to make your vehicle easier
to see in low visibility conditions.
- Slick roads increase stopping times considerably. Lower your speed and leave lots of extra room
between you and the car in front of you. The general rule of thumb is to drive with a
minimum of three times more distance than normal between you and the car you’re
- Go easy on the brakes to avoid skidding. Tap
lightly on the brake and ease off if you start to skid.
- Use your lower gears to increase traction on
- Bridges and overpasses are the first surfaces to
freeze, so slow down before you enter these hazardous areas, even if the rest
of the road isn’t frozen.
- If you get stuck, spinning your wheels will only
dig you in deeper.
- Try backing up and then going forward,
accelerating lightly to clear a path out of the snow or ice.
- Rock your vehicle by shifting from forward to
reverse to gain traction.
- If none of the above works, shovel the snow away
from your wheels and pour gravel, salt, sand or kitty litter under your tires
and in your car’s path for traction.
- When driving in remote areas in winter, always
carry emergency supplies in case of an emergency. A first aid kit, blankets, flashlight,
emergency flares, shovel, jumper cables, matches, food, gloves and warm
clothing can be life-savers if you find yourself stranded in bad weather.