Driving in Canadian winter takes patience and practice to stay safe on slick and icy roads. Keep these safe winter driving techniques in mind – and share them with family and friends.
- Invest in winter tires
Winter tires are worth the investment. Put them on before it snows, and before the temperature drops below 7°C. Also, ensure your tires are inflated properly; cold weather can decrease tire pressure.
- Plan ahead
Take five minutes to check road conditions before you get behind the wheel. Weather and traffic updates are readily available online and on the radio.
- Slow down
Adjust your speed to road conditions. Also avoid accelerating too quickly, maintain steady pressure on the gas pedal, and brake gently and early to avoid sliding.
- Stock up on windshield washer fluid
When you need it most – 50 km from home in a white-out blizzard – you'll be glad to have an extra jug.
- Increase visibility
Keep your headlights on, even during the day, and remove all snow and ice from your vehicle.
- Look twice before reversing
Be aware of snow banks when backing up. They make it hard to spot oncoming traffic or pedestrians.
- Avoid using cruise control
Cruise control in wet, icy or snowy conditions isn't worth the risk.
- Pack an emergency kit
- a bag of salt or non-clumping cat litter (for digging out)
- a blanket
- a flashlight
- a shovel
- an ice scraper/snow brush
- jumper cables
- non-perishable food
Additional resources to stay safe on the road
- Get more details about preparing your vehicle for winter driving,
- Learn how to take care of winter tires and snow tires for optimal performance and durability,
- Check out some more helpful year-round driving tips.
- Don’t forget to always drive distraction-free, especially during the winter.