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Winter Driving Tips To Keep You Safe
November 10, 2015 | Authors: Randy Henderson

The Ontario Ministry of Transportation shared these 11 winter driving tips to help keep you safe.

1. Create a Survival Kit

Your survival kit should include items such as: gloves, booster cables, small shovel, windshield washer fluid, first aid kit, torch, snow brush, candles, safety vest, water bottles and non-perishable energy foods.  Put the kit in your trunk.

2. Check Weather & Road Conditions Often

Choose the route you'll take ahead of time and check the weather forecast to make sure you know what to expect before you hit the road.

3. Keep a Safe Distance behind Snow Plows

If you find yourself behind a snowplow, maintain a safe distance.  Snowplow drivers do not always have the best visibility and can create clouds of snow that can reduce your visibility if too close.

4. Get Winter Tires

They provide better traction, handling & braking and can shorten your stopping distance by as much as 25 per cent.  All-season tires are not the same as winter tires and lose their grip when the temperatire dips below 7 C.  Drivers with winter tires are eligible for an insurance discount starting January 1, 2016.  Check out these articles:  Five Things You Should Know About Winter Tires & Winter Tire Discount Promised for Jan. 1, 2016 in Ontario.

5. Slow Down & Give Yourself Extra Travel Time

This may seem obvious but it's important to remember.  Drive according to the road conditions around you and don't rely on the estimated time of arrival generated by your GPS.

6. Clear Snow & Ice From Your Vehicle Before Heading Out

Make sure you clean all windows, mirrors, lights and your roof and trunk of snow before you begin driving.  Wait for any foggy windows to clear so your visibility isn't impaired.

7. Wear Comfortable Clothes

Your clothing shouldn't restrict your movement and the ability to check your blindspot.

8. Keep a Full Gas Tank

It can help reduce moisture in the fuel system and also adds extra weight to your vehicle to slow it down.  If traffic is slow, you won't have the added worry of running out of gas.

9. Keep OPP Numbers Handy & Travel With a Fully Charged Cell Phone

The non-emergency number for the OPP is 888-310-1122.  For provincial highway conditions, go to www.ontario.ca/511 or call 511.

10. Avid Using Cruise Control on Slippery Roads

It's easy to lose control of your vehicle in bad weather if you rely on cruise control.  If conditions are really bad, or in the event of a serious ice storm or blizzard, just avoid driving at all.

11. Know the Best Way to Recover From a Skid for Your Vehicle

How your vehicle responds to a skid depends on whether it has rear wheel, front wheel or four wheel drive.  If your vehicle has an anti-lock braking system (ABS) learn how to use it correctly.

Check out this Canadian Automobile Association (CAA) brochure to figure out what will work best for your vehicle.

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