Winter is a beautiful time in Ontario, with snow sparkling on the trees and lakes and rivers frozen over. However, it also, unfortunately, presents a major challenge for drivers and pedestrians. With snow and ice comes dangerous driving conditions including slippery roads, invisible hazards and even blinding sun reflecting off of the now-white surfaces. According to Groupement des automobiles (GAA) in Montreal, collisions involving cars and trucks increase by 30% in the winter months. Despite this statistic, a survey conducted this year by insurance company belairdirect found that less than half of Canadian drivers feel adequately prepared for winter weather.
Injuries suffered in car and truck collisions can be some of the most serious due to the high speeds and heavy equipment involved. In order to ensure your safety, and the safety of your loved ones and your fellow travellers, there are certain precautions you can take to better prepare yourself for winter driving. Further, we will outline some driving tips specific to winter weather that may help you avoid a serious collision on the road this winter.
Be a Prepared Winter Driver
While it’s impossible to prepare for every situation, there are certain precautions drivers can take to properly equip themselves and their vehicles for winter weather.
Invest in Winter Tires
Winter tires are invaluable when it comes to navigating slippery conditions. If you can afford it, this is likely the number one investment you can make to safeguarding yourself on winter roads. Winter tires have deeper treads and are built to hold up better in freezing conditions and maintain a better grip on cold roads and even ice. They’re also designed to channel water away from the tire, helping to avoid hydroplaning on wet roads.
Keep your Vehicle Stocked With Necessary Equipment
All drivers should be sure that their vehicles are topped up with windshield washer fluid, and have extra in the car just in case. It can be extremely dangerous to run out of fluid while travelling at high speeds on a slushy highway. In addition, drivers should have ice scrapers and snow brushes ready in case the car becomes covered in ice or snow while away from home. You should also be sure to keep sunglasses in the car year-round because the sun can become particularly glaring when there is a lot of snow on the ground.
While it’s always advisable to keep your car topped up with gasoline, it’s particularly important in cold weather, to avoid becoming stranded while vulnerable to freezing conditions. Drivers should try not to let their gas tanks fall below the halfway point during the winter. However, in case you do become stranded in the cold, you should also have warm blankets and/or warm clothing in case you need to stay put while waiting for roadside assistance in a remote area.
Winter Driving Tips
If you do find yourself in hazardous conditions, there are certain driving tips that can help you avoid a serious collision:
- Stay alert, and avoid using cruise control to ensure you can react quickly if necessary.
- Avoid driving while tired or otherwise distracted.
- Don’t accelerate quickly; it’s important to increase speed slowly to avoid losing control on icy roads.
- Take your time; don’t feel pressure to drive at an unsafe speed, even if others around you are. Stay in the right-hand lane and let other drivers pass you if necessary.
- Leave more distance than you normally would between yourself and drivers ahead of you. In case your car begins to slide, you’ll need extra time to come to a stop.
- Prevention is always best – if you can avoid driving in a storm or in icy conditions, you should. Safety should be your number one priority.
Contact Tierney Stauffer LLP for Assistance if You’ve Been Injured in a Car or Truck Accident
When negligence results in a car or truck accident, you and your family may be able to obtain compensation for any injuries sustained. It is recommended that you speak with a lawyer who is experienced in truck accidents as soon after your accident as possible. The personal injury lawyers at Tierney Stauffer LLP will advise you of the best course of action so that you can recover financially and move on with your life. Call us at 1-888-799-8057 or contact us online to set up a free consultation with a member of our personal injury team.