For many Canadians, the white stuff came early this year.
Now, with the first major snowfall under our belt, it’s a good idea to review some winter driving tips and the emergency supplies you should have in your car.
All motorists should know the safety rules for dealing with winter road emergencies, but keeping your vehicle in good technical repair reduces your overall chances for any mishap. To prepare your vehicle for the season have a garage give it a winter checkup if you haven’t already done so.
The check-up will ensure things like your electrical system, lights, brakes, exhaust system, heating & cooling systems, wipers as well as your tires are in good working order.
Regular or all-season tires may be adequate in some areas, but may not be suitable for driving in the Snowbelt regions of southern Ontario and throughout the north. If you live and drive in these areas, consider using winter tires. They provide better traction, braking, and handling during frost, snow, slush, and particularly under icy conditions.
And, did you know many insurance companies often apply a discount to your policy for having them? Talk to your broker to find out more.
RELATED RESOURCE: What you need to know about winter tires
RELATED READING: For more winter driving tips check out the Ontario Ministry of Transportation.
If you get stuck, having a proper emergency kit could save your life. It should consist of an ice scraper, snow brush, shovel, booster cables, snacks, first aid kit, canned candle, matches, flashlight, extra batteries, blankets, and a tool kit. If you prefer to buy it, many online sources or local retailers sell winter emergency kits.
Other good items to include:
It’s also always advisable to have some sort of roadside assistance program. In Ontario, if you encounter trouble or witness an emergency, you can call *677 or 1-800-310-1122 which will connect you to the nearest OPP communications centre. You can also call 511 in that province to get the latest highway conditions. Keep these numbers in your car or phone and stay safe!
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