Adjusting to Winter Conditions

 

Ontario winters are challenging for motorists. Weather conditions can be unpredictable, placing extra demands on your vehicle and your driving skills. Ensure you are well prepared for winter roads and always adjust your driving speed to existing conditions.

 

Preparing for Winter Driving

 

Stay alert, slow down, and stay in control - the three key elements of safe winter driving. Drive according to highway and weather conditions. Keep a safe distance between you and the vehicle in front of you to avoid situations where you may have to brake suddenly on a slippery surface.

 

Be Prepared - Is Your Vehicle Ready?

 

Get your vehicle winter-ready with a maintenance check-up. Don’t wait for winter to have your battery, belts, hoses, radiator, oil, lights, brakes, tires, exhaust system, heater/defroster, wipers, and ignition system checked.

 

Make sure your vehicle is mechanically ready for winter. Keep your fuel tank sufficiently full - at least half a tank is recommended.

 

Make sure you have sufficient windshield washer fluid in the reservoir that is rated a minimum of -40°C temperature range. Keep an extra jug in the vehicle.

 

Clear snow and ice from all windows, lights, mirrors, and the roof. After starting your vehicle, wait for the fog to clear from the interior of the windows so you will have good visibility all around.

 

Have your tires checked or replaced before winter begins. Remember to check tire air pressure frequently, as it decreases in cold weather.

 

Winter Driving Survival Kit

 

It’s a good idea to keep a winter survival kit in your vehicle. Having essential supplies can provide some comfort and safety for you and your passengers should you become stranded.shovel

 

Recommended items include:

  • Ice scraper/snowbrushbooster cables

  • Shovel

  • Sand or other traction aid

  • Tow rope or chain

  • Booster cables

  • Road flares or warning lightsfirst aid kit

  • Gas line antifreeze

  • Flashlight and batteries

  • First aid kit

  • Fire extinguisher

  • Small tool kit

  • Extra clothing and footwearblanket

  • Blanket

  • Non-perishable energy foods - e.g., chocolate or granola bars, juice, soup, bottled water

  • Candle and a small tin can

  • Matches

 

Be Prepared! - Before Heading Out

 

Wear comfortable clothing that doesn’t restrict your movement while at the wheel. Keep warm clothing for getting out of your vehicle.

 

If you are travelling a long distance, plan your route ahead of time. Let someone know of your destination and expected time of arrival.

 

Check weather and travel conditions before heading out (1-800-268-4686). Don’t take chances if the weather is bad. Allow yourself extra time for travel, or wait until conditions improve.

 

Source: Ministry of Transportation of Ontario

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2015-01-27

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