10 Winter Driving Tips To Help Keep You SafeDec 8th, 2021
The snow has arrived whether we like it or not. It's important to stay safe while driving on the icy, snow-covered roads during the winter season. We know your Toyota is equipped with safety features to help keep you safe on the road, but is your driving matching up to those safety standards?
Here are a few important winter driving tips that will help you during your winter drive this season.
1. Use Winter Tires
You might not believe it, but winter tires are extremely important. Winter tires can handle our Canadian winters. They provide stronger traction with heavy snow and ice and can also brake easier, handle corners smoothly and speed up better. While having winter tires are important, it's also important to check that the tires are at the right tire pressure. Cold weather can cause tires to deflate, so check the pressure frequently.
2. Check weather and road conditions before traveling
Check the weather forecast for any potential snowstorms, hail, rain or snow. Plan your route according to the forecast and to avoid any road closures or traffic delays, check for local traffic updates. If they're advising motorists to stay off the roads, stay off the roads and plan your travels for another date.
3. Clear snow and ice from your vehicle
Don't be that person that has snow and ice chunks flying from their vehicle while driving! Take extra time to remove ALL snow and ice from your vehicle before leaving. This includes all windows, lights, mirrors, wipers, hood, trunk and roof. This will not only allow you to be able to see the road more clearly but it will also help keep other drives safe. When clearing snow and ice from your vehicle, don't forget to check the tailpipe to see if any snow or debris is covering it. If something is stuck or if it's covered, it might lead to carbon monoxide buildup inside your vehicle, which is dangerous and life-threatening.
4. Keep a full tank of gas
Not only does this ensure you won't be left stranded or rushing to the gas station to fill up, but it can help reduce moisture in the fuel system. It also helps add extra weight to your vehicle to help slow it down.
5. Keep a safe distance from other vehicles and snow plows
If you're stuck behind a snow plow, maintain a safe stopping distance. Snow plows don't always have the best visibility and can create clouds of snow that can reduce your visibility or you can become distracted from flying salt and sand debris. Be sure to keep a vehicle's length of distance between you and the vehicle in front of you in case you need to stop abruptly.
6. Watch out for slippery roads
One of the hazards of winter driving is slippery road conditions, especially black ice. Be aware of any glossy and wet-looking patches on the road. Even if your vehicle is equipped with winter tires, skidding can still happen. If you find yourself skidding and sliding, remain calm and avoid and forceful braking or sudden movements of the wheel.
7. Have an emergency kit
Be prepared for the unexpected with a vehicle emergency kit. You can purchase your own from any hardware store or simply make your own. Your kit should include:
- First aid kit
- Flashlight with spare batteries
- Small shovel
- Non-perishable food items
- Energy bars, Trail mix, Nuts etc.
- Water bottles
- Road flares
- Fire extinguisher
- Candles and a lighter or matches
- Tow straps
- Booster cables
- Charging cables with battery pack for electronic devices
- Road maps
- Sand or kitty litter
- Helps if your stuck on ice and your tires are spinning out
- Duct tape
- A change of clothes and shoes/boots
- Snow brush
- Safety vest
- Antifreeze/windshield washer fluid
8. Slow down and give yourself extra travel time
This might be obvious but it's an important one. Drive according to the road conditions around you and don't rely on the estimated time of arrival your GPS or phone is giving you. If you need to be somewhere for a certain time, leave 10 to 15 minutes earlier than you were planning on leaving to give you enough time to travel.
9. Drive defensively but drive smart
Winter driving can be daunting, so it's important to remain alert and ready. This means paying attention to your surroundings and adapting to road conditions. If you're driving through inclement weather, reduce your speed, leave plenty of space between you and other vehicles and remain visible.
10. Have your cell phone accessible and fully charged
We all carry our cell phones with us but it's wise to have it easily accessible when driving in the winter. If you're stuck or need help, use your cell or make sure it's connected to your vehicles bluetooth for easy hands-free calling.
Numbers to keep in your contacts:
Emergency number - 911
Non-emergency OPP - 1-888-310-1122
Ontario traveller information - 511
Help your winter driving this season with winter tires!
If you're in need of winter tires, we're here to help! We deliver the right price on the right tires for your Toyota. Give our Parts Department a call at (807) 623-1115 or use our Toyota Tire Selector to help you find the right tire, size and rim for your Toyota.
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