Tips for driving carefully in the snow

Finally! Vancouver got its first share of snow yesterday! While it looks like a beautiful winter wonderland, it is a struggle for everyone to drive in snowy weather conditions.
Be it ice, snow or water, all roads become slippery, making it difficult to drive. It is vital to take all precautions by following these essential tips when driving in snow.

Keep a safe speed

It is crucial to be at a safe speed when driving, as it can help you take quick action, such as applying brakes when necessary. You can also plan your trip and check the weather conditions on before leaving for your destination so you do not have to rush. 

Get the right tire

Make sure to install snow tires when the weather begins to drop, as it is necessary to have them when driving in snow. It is advisable to check the tire regularly, as low temperatures can reduce tire pressure. Poor visibility in bad weather conditions may cause trouble on the roads. Having the correct tires can make driving in winter conditions a lot easier. Click here to learn about ICBC recommendations on winter tires.

Don’t use cruise control

In snow, it is best to be in total control of your car while driving and to not rely on cruise control. While the latest cars may have features that help your vehicle in rain or snow, it is still best not to use them. 

Follow the 3 second Rule for the following distance

Be sure to maintain an appropriate distance from vehicles ahead or behind you and reduce your speed. This is recommended, especially during adverse weather conditions or when your visibility is reduced. Increasing the distance between you and the car ahead can help give you the time you need to recognize a hazard and respond safely. 

Switch on the fog lights if needed

Fog lights can cut through the mist, fog, and rain and improve visibility. It is recommended to turn on the fog light while driving in snowy conditions. Be sure to check if your headlights and backlights are working.

Pack extra warm clothes and an emergency kit in the car

According to ICBC, it is always good to carry a winter emergency kit in your car just in case you get stuck somewhere. The items in the kit must include the following:

  • ​First aid kit
  • Food
  • Warm clothes
  • Shovel 
  • Battery jumper cables​​

Be sure to keep this in your car, especially while driving long distances.

Prevent snow from accumulating on the front windshield

Remember to clear the snow on the windshield consistently so it doesn’t accumulate on your front screen.

Be careful of black ice

Black ice or clear ice is a slippery, thin layer of ice which can be formed unexpectedly and may not be visible. Black ice is commonly found on roads or streets with intersections. It is not black but transparent as it takes the colour from the road beneath. It is advisable not to apply the brake instantly in case your car happens to be on black ice. Instead, you should slow down by decelerating or shifting to a lower gear. 

Finally, always remember that slow and steady wins the race! It does not matter how much of a rush you are in. Driving safely will be a benefit for you and others around you.

For more tips, check out the government ICBC website. Refer to the link below!

Source: Winter Driving Tips ICBC When to not use Cruise control Winter Tires Insurance Corporation of British Columbia

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