Canadian winters can be harsh and a challenge to drive in, and for drivers who fail to heed the precautions needed when a winter storm hits, a ticket could be in the forecast that could put a further chill on the season and heat up your car insurance rates.
Skate through winter safely and protect your premiums by avoiding these three tickets this winter.
Take the time to clear your windows of snow and ice
To meet the challenge of winter driving, you need to be able to see out of your windows. Having a clear view of what's in front, beside, and behind you while driving is at the very core of safe driving. However, not everyone takes the time needed to ensure that their vehicle is ready for the road ahead.
While the actual offence may vary by province, you can expect a ticket for something along the lines of an "obstructed view" if you have not fully cleaned the snow and ice off your vehicle's windows and mirrors.
Being a "peephole" driver will certainly capture the attention of police and your car doesn't have to look like this one to get a ticket.
— OPP West (@OPP_WR) January 19, 2016
Don’t brush off, brushing off the whole car
Your windows and mirrors are not the only parts of the car you should be clearing of ice and snow; your roof, hood, lights, and signals need to be cleaned off too. And don’t forget your licence plate, because you can get a ticket for an obstructed licence plate if it's not clearly visible. A quick swipe with your snow brush will ensure this is one ticket you won't get.
Posted speed limits designate the fastest speed at which you can safely travel in optimal road conditions. When the weather is foul, or the roads are messy, you should lower your speed for safety’s sake and to avoid a ticket. And it's not just speeding tickets you need to consider. There are other tickets you can get as well—even if you’re going the limit.
In Quebec, for example, you can be ticketed for failing to adapt your driving to the weather and road conditions (which includes a minimum $60 fine and two demerit points); while in Alberta, you can be ticketed with speeding at an unreasonable rate which will run you about $200 and four demerit points.
In Ontario, there’s no specific ticket for driving too fast for the weather conditions, but you could be charged with careless driving if it’s believed you’re driving without "due care and attention or without reasonable consideration" for others.
Play it safe and travel at a speed that takes into account the weather outside because "ice and snow means take it slow".
Put your car insurance premiums on ice
With snow blanketing most of the country, it’s time to take the prospect of winter driving seriously. Clear your car of all ice or snow, keep a safe distance between yourself and the vehicle in front, and remember that your speed should reflect the weather or road conditions. You may also want to consider getting winter tires. Not only do winter tires offer better traction than all-seasons, helping to keep you safely on the road, but they can also help you save on your car insurance. Compare quotes today to see how much you could save on your premiums with a winter tire discount.