Stay in control. Slow down. Stay alert.
Winter can be tough. It's cold, the roads are icy and you never know what can happen. That's why our team at Willowdale Subaru has put together a list for winter driving in Ontario.
To stay in control, steer gently on curves and in slippery conditions. Hard braking, quick acceleration and abrupt gear changes can cause you to skid. Always avoid using cruise control on wet, snowy or icy pavement. It significantly reduces your reaction time and vehicle control. If you do skid, release your brakes and steer in the direction you want to go. Be careful not to over steer though!
Many winter collisions end up happening because drivers are going too fast for the road conditions. Slow down and allow extra space between you and other vehicles.
It's always important to focus on your driving and put away cell phones and other distractions. Look for reflections on the road because what looks like water may actually be ice.
First thing's first. Get your vehicle winter-ready with a maintenance check-up from Willowdale Subaru. After that make sure you carry an ice scraper and washer fluid that can handle conditions up to -40oC.
You're going to want to ensure your fuel tank is always at least half full. Consider using winter tires over all weather tires. You may be eligible for car insurance discounts if you use winter tires! Check with your insurance company to see if it will give you an advantage this season.
Plan your trip and make sure to take note of stops. You're going to want to check the weather and for road conditions/closures often to ensure you get to your destination safely.
Use your judgment too. If the weather is bad, delaying your trip may be the best option. If you’re on the road when conditions worsen, find a safe place to pullover and wait it out.
Be prepared for the unexpected. Keep some emergency supplies with you like a charged cellphone, some non-perishable food, water, flashlight, blanket, extra jacket, jumper cables, shovel and some sand or kitty litter!
Obey road closures. If a highway is closed, it's closed! They're closed for your safety, plus it's against the law to drive on a closed road. Always obey emergency closure signs and follow the directions of police officers.
Avoid crowding into the lane of on-coming traffic because this can result in head-on collisions. It's also imperative to drive slowly near working snowplows and do not pass them. It’s extremely dangerous.
Be patient and give them room. They will pull off once they reach the end of their route.
Ontario is a large province, and we all love to explore it. Before you hit the open road this summer with your family or friends, take some time to brush up on our summer road trip tips. Planning will help reduce the chances of a breakdown, or worse a crash!
Regular maintenance such as oil changes, tune-ups, battery checks, and tire rotations go a long way. Willowdale Subaru recommends that before you go on any road trips you have your vehicle serviced by the manufacture's recommendations to help prevent breakdowns on the open road.
You should create a vehicle safety checklist that you can go over before you take off on your trip. Here's a few items that should be on the list:
- Check your tires air pressure, tread wear, and make sure you have a spare
- Check headlights, brake lights, turn signals, emergency flashers, interior lights, and trailer lights
- Coolant level and servicing
- Fluid levels such as oil, brake, transmission, power steering, windshield washer fluids
- Belt and hose conditions and fittings
- Wear and tear on wiper blades