Thursday, October 20, 2016

Top 4 Winter Driving Safety Tips

(NC) While fresh snow may mean hours of fun for the neighbourhood kiddos, even an inch on the ground can spell disaster for drivers. Claims can spike by up to 50 per cent during the winter months. Fortunately, there's a lot we can do to avoid winter driving incidents. Here are a few things to keep in mind this season:

1. Get your ride road ready. Canadian winters can be a long grind, so make sure your ride is up for the challenge. Always start with a complete checkup as you don't want to be dealing with a breakdown in the middle of a snowstorm. Once the weather regularly drops to –7°C, it's time to install winter tires. They're made of a softer rubber that has better traction and shorter stopping distances in wintery weather. Remember that many insurance companies offer a winter tire discount. If yours doesn't, shop around on a car insurance rate comparison site like LowestRates until you find one that does.

2. Be ready for an emergency. Many drivers fail to see the need for a safety kit in their vehicle, let alone a winter-specific one. But this is a safety precaution you'll definitely miss if it's ever needed. Find ideas for what to include online, and don't forget the following must-haves: flashlight, first aid kit, blanket, warm clothes, emergency food, candle and matches, and a small shovel.

3. Slow and steady. If there's one thing that drivers should do in wintery conditions, it's slow down. Speed limits are set for ideal conditions, so slippery roads and reduced visibility mean you should slow it down. Even drivers with 4-wheel drive should take extra caution as stopping quickly can be a challenge for any vehicle.

4. Keep calm and drive on. If you lose control of your vehicle, remain calm. Simply take your foot off the gas, steer in the direction you want to go, and never slam on your brakes. And always observe the cars around you — if they're having trouble, be extra cautious.

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