Ready to Hit the Road This Family Day Long Weekend?

By Lesley Green
A father and daughter playing outdoors in the snow.

Don’t get caught unprepared on the roads this Family Day long weekend.

Winter weather can be unpredictable. One minute it can be crystal clear and the next minute you can be in the middle of a snow squall making driving difficult.

If you’re hitting the road this long weekend to take to the slopes or visit family, the following reminders will help you get to where you want to go, safely, no matter what the local forecast has in store for you.

  • Prepare your vehicle: Top up your car’s windshield wiper fluid, check the tire pressure, and remember to travel with an emergency roadside safety kit handy.
  • Check your route before leaving: Winter weather means road conditions can change quickly. Plan your route to avoid confusion and check the weather reports before you leave. Listen to traffic reports on route to stay abreast of what’s happening on the roads.
  • Stick to the main roads where possible: Avoid the roads less travelled and try to stick to the roads and highways that you know will be regularly maintained and cleared.
  • Clean the snow and ice off the car: Always clear the ice and snow from your vehicle. Pay special attention to your windows, lights, mirrors, hood, and roof.
  • Dress appropriately: Wear clothing, or have clothing in the car available, that is appropriate for the weather outside, including footwear.
  • Drive in daylight if possible: Only drive when well-rested and use your headlights day and night, especially if poor weather reduces visibility.
  • Slow down: Foul winter weather and poor visibility require driving at a slower speed than what’s posted. Posted speed limits designate the fastest speed at which you can safely travel in optimal road conditions. When roads are not optimal, slow down and drive to the conditions.
  • Give yourself some space: Keep enough distance between your vehicle and the car in front to allow for safe stopping. In winter, or any foul weather, it’s typically encouraged that you double the two-second rule. This means, a 4-second interval from the time the car in front of you passes a fixed object until you reach the same object.
  • Put down the phone: Limit distractions and put the phone in the trunk if you can't resist the temptation. Pull over at a rest stop to stretch your legs and check-in.

This long weekend take care when getting to where you want to go because it’s about more than just keeping your car insurance rates low, it’s about arriving at your destination safely.