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Winter Driving Safety Tips

Dec 1, 2016

With the weather forecast for British Columbia being snow for the next week or two we figured this would be the perfect time to share some Winter Driving Safety Tips to help keep you safe on the road.

If you or a friend or family member of yours has never driven in snow before we recommend you or they read these tips.

  • Use low gears to maintain traction, especially on steep hills.
  • Do NOT pass snow plows / sanding trucks, as they have limited visibility and may not be able to see you.
  • Remember that bridges and overpasses freeze up first.
  • Keep your lights and windshield clean and clear of snow at all times.
  • Turn on your headlights in the daytime so your car is visible to other drivers.
  • Brake gently to avoid skidding or sliding.
  • Do NOT use overdrive or cruise control on icy roads.

What to do if your rear tires skid?

  • Take your foot off of the accelerator.
  • Steer in the direction you want the front wheels to go.
  • If your rear tires are skidding to the left, steer left to regain control or if they are skidding to the right, steer to the right.
  • If you have standard brakes, pump them gently.
  • If you have anti-lock brakes, apply steady pressure.
  • If you have anti-lock brakes and you feel them pulsing, do not worry that is normal.

What to do if your front tires skid?

  • Take your foot off the gas and shift to neutral.
  • Do NOT try to steer immediately.
  • As the wheels skid and the vehicle slows, steer in the direction you want to go.
  • At this point, you can put the vehicle back into drive and gently accelerate.
  • If you have anti-lock brakes, apply steady pressure.
  • If you have anti-lock brakes and you feel them pulsing, do not worry that is normal.

What to do if you get stuck?

  • Do NOT spin your wheels, it will only dig you in deeper.
  • With a shovel, clear snow away from the wheels and the underside of the car.
  • Turn your wheels from side to side to push snow out of the way.
  • Use a light touch on the gas to ease your car out.
  • Pour sand, kitty litter, gravel or salt in the path of the wheels.
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