The winter months are upon us, and it’s that time of the year when the roads get slippery and careful driving becomes critical. In Windsor, especially, wintery conditions can easily create dangerous roads and longer-than-usual travel times.
Fortunately, there are steps you can take to ensure your safety in the winter, and keep others on the road safe, as well.
Here’s our simple guide:
5 Tips for Safe Winter Driving in Windsor
Whether you’re heading to the store or across the country, these tips will keep you safe on winter roads:
1. Accelerate and Decelerate Slowly
One of the biggest risks of winter driving is spinning out on ice. While ice can be obvious when it coats the roadways (you can see a sheen or feel it under your feet), black ice is also a very real risk of winter driving. Unfortunately, black ice is hard to see and even more difficult to predict.
With this in mind, it’s critical to take it slow when you accelerate or decelerate. Being gradual with the gas and brake pedals will help reduce your risk of spinning out, and keep you safe on the roadways this winter.
2. Never Warm up Your Vehicle in an Enclosed Area
As cars idle, they emit carbon products that are toxic to breathe. While you may not mean to, it’s easy to expose yourself to toxic (and potentially fatal) levels of these carbon products if you let your car idle in an enclosed area, like a garage or shop.
If you want to warm your car up before you get in it, it’s fine to do it in these protected spaces – just make sure you open a door.
3. Keep Your Gas Tank at Least Half Full
During the winter, it’s more important than ever to keep your gas tank at least half full.
The reasons for this are many: in addition to the fact that a full gas tank adds weight to your car (making it more sure-footed on icy roads), it will also help you stay warm and safe if you slip off the road in the winter and need to run the car for warmth.
Finally, a gas tank that is at least half-full helps prevent gas line freeze-up on frigid days.
4. Check Your Insurance
The chances of fender-benders and collisions increase during the winter, so it’s especially important to check your coverage now. If you need an update or are looking for a plan that will provide cheap car insurance, expanded protection, and car insurance quotes to you and your family, compare cheap car insurance quotes to ensure you are getting the lowest rate for coverage that will protect you and your family.
5. Increase Your Stopping Distance
On normal, dry roads, experts typically say it’s fine to drive at a following distance of about three to four seconds. On winter roads, though, that distance should be increased to eight to ten seconds. This increased following distance gives you ample time to stop and increases the margin of safety for you and everyone around you.
Safer Winter Driving Starts Here
There is currently a 3.1 to 4.7 percent rise in vehicle accidents between the months of December and January and a 49% spike in insurance claims. Like it or not, winter driving conditions play a huge role in the number of accidents each year, and it’s critical to understand how to keep yourself safe. By following these five tips (don’t forget to double-check your insurance), you can do your part to make Ontario’s roadways safe this winter.