Although the snow hasn’t started to fly yet, October is Car Safety Month and the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) reminds you to take a few simple measures to prepare now to get your car winter ready.
“Canadian winters on the roads can be dangerous for drivers when they are not prepared,” said Bill Adams, IBC Vice-President, Western and Pacific.
“Taking the time to prepare for winter driving conditions and making safe decisions about your vehicle before temperatures drop could save your life.”
Here are 10 tips to help you avoid the dangers of winter driving:
n Be alert, well-rested and sober behind the wheel. Avoid driver distractions.
n Tune-up your car by getting a complete checkup in the fall. Your tune-up should include battery, belts, hoses, radiator, coolant/antifreeze, oil, lights, brakes, exhaust system, heater/defroster, wipers, ignition system and tires.
n Check the tires and tire pressure at least once a month when the tires are cold. (See tire pressure information sheet.)
n Ensure that your windshield is free of dings and cracks. Cold temperatures can turn a small ding in your windshield into a major crack.
n Keep the gas tank at least half full, decreasing the chances of moisture forming in the gas lines and possibly freezing.
n Ensure that lights work. The end of Daylight Savings Time in the fall results in earlier night fall and more night time driving.
n Keep a Winter Survival Kit in the trunk of your vehicle.
n Heed the warnings from local weather offices of Environment Canada of impending blizzards, heavy snow, freezing rain or drizzle, deep freeze and winds, and black ice.
n Check road conditions before travel. On the road, if you must drive in bad weather, clean snow off your vehicle, exercise caution, plan ahead and make sure you have enough fuel. Drop your speed to match road conditions (See winter driving tips)
n Always keep a road map, flashlight, first-aid kit and blanket in your vehicle.
(Resources: IBC and carcarecanada.ca)