3 Tips for Safe Winter Driving in Markham

Winter roads present hazardous driving conditions. Staying safe while traveling on snow and ice can be a challenge. These are three tips from the experts at Insurance Hotline - a leading resource for consumers to compare rates on auto insurance in Markham.

Invest in Winter Tires

Tires perform an important function when it comes to safety on the roads. The rubber is designed to grip the driving surface to give vehicles traction so operators can maintain control of steering and braking. Standard and all-season tires are not designed to withstand extreme temperatures, and the rubber gets stiff when the thermometer drops. Generally, they start to lose their grip on the driving surface when temperatures fall below 7 C.

Winter tires are specifically designed for cold temperatures, so the rubber stays soft and pliable to better grip the road. The treads are deeper, and the tread designs are specially formulated to maximize performance in the snow and ice. Switching to winter tires can shorten braking distance by up to 25 per cent, which dramatically decreases the likelihood of crashes.

The benefits of winter tires are significant enough that insurers typically offer incentives for drivers who make the change during cold weather. Recent figures indicate that 84 per cent of drivers in Markham have winter tires. Discounts for winter tires are common, making it easier for drivers to secure cheap car insurance in Markham.

Practice Skid Recovery

Many winter accidents occur when a vehicle loses traction and skids or slides on snow and ice. The experience is frightening for drivers, and it is easy to panic. Unfortunately, panic decreases the likelihood of safely guiding a vehicle out of the skid, as drivers tend to freeze, press hard on the brakes, or steer away from the direction the car is moving.

Learning more about the features of a particular vehicle is helpful for determining the best way to pull out of a skid. For example, the appropriate technique differs for front-wheel drive, rear-wheel drive, and all-wheel-drive models. An anti-lock brake system offers a measure of safety, but only when it is properly utilized.

Once drivers are familiar with the features of their vehicles, it can be helpful to practice skid recovery in a safe and controlled setting. A variety of driving schools offer courses in winter driving, and instructors are helpful in training students on the most effective skid-recovery methods. This sort of practice reduces the likelihood of panic during an actual driving emergency, and it increases drivers' ability to maintain control of their vehicles in winter weather.

Maintain a Survival Kit

Preventing accidents, breakdowns, and other emergencies are important, but even the most comprehensive prevention plans cannot eliminate every mishap. Keeping a survival kit in the vehicle and refreshing it regularly can mean the difference between discomfort and serious injury.

Include first aid items, such as bandages, antibiotic ointment, and so forth. Add extra cold weather clothing and blankets, candles, and a supply of matches. Be sure to have non-perishable high-energy foods and a water bottle, as well. Round out the survival kit with critical cold weather tools for your vehicle, such as booster cables, windshield wiper fluid, a small snow shovel, a snow brush, a safety vest, and a torch. Check the kit regularly to ensure batteries are fresh, expired food is replaced, and first aid supplies are renewed.

Insurance Hotline is committed to keeping families secure, both on and off the road. For more information, visit insurance expert Anne Marie Thomas online, where she offers answers to all of the most frequently asked insurance questions. In addition, families can learn more about opportunities for saving on auto insurance by visiting the Insurance Hotline for car insurance quotes in Ontario.