The mention of childhood winters likely evokes fond memories of sledding down snow-covered mountains or building the block’s best snowman! However, as adults we often have a slightly different view of this beautiful but sometimes challenging season. Most winter woes seem to be associated with driving through the white stuff. But a few simple steps taken while the leaves are still on the trees can often minimize the challenges that accompany the onset of winter:
- Winterize Your Vehicle: Perform a maintenance check-up on all your vehicles. From your brakes to your wipers, all systems should be repaired or replaced if they are not in optimal condition. Check fluid levels and top up as required. To make sure that your best interests are protected, return to your local dealership for the maintenance check-up.
- Check Your Tires: The condition of your vehicle’s tires is especially important during winter. Consider using snow tires and remember that all-season tires should only be used in areas that receive light snowfall. Check with your insurance broker to confirm your coverage with or without snow tires. Check your tire pressure as it decreases in colder weather.
- Get a Shovel: Remember last winter. You had to ransom your firstborn to get a snow shovel after the first big snowfall. Prepare and install a winter driving kit in all vehicles. Besides a shovel, include a bag of sand, and booster cables. If you live in the northern parts of the province, or traveling on mountain roads, include in your kit chains, flares or emergency lights, first aid kit, flashlight and batteries, blanket, extra clothing and footwear, water and a few non-perishable food items.
- Plan Ahead: Plan your route and allow yourself extra time.
- Trust the Weatherman: Check weather and road reports prior to heading out. When possible wait for conditions to improve.
- Slow Down: An oldie but a goodie!
- Dad’s Two Second Rule: Did your Dad remind you of the two second rule every time you borrowed the car? In case the details have become a bit fuzzy over the years, this is how it works. 1) Pick a marker on the road ahead such as a road sign. 2) When the rear of the vehicle ahead of you passes that sign, start counting. 3) You should be able to count slowly “one one-thousand, two one-thousand” before the front of your vehicle reaches the same marker. In winter driving conditions, it takes vehicles even longer to stop. So, it is wise to allow even more space between vehicles at this time of year.
- See and Be Seen: Winter driving conditions often result in poor visibility. Keep your lights clean!
- Get the Right Insurance: Our experienced insurance advisors can review your auto insurance coverage and help ensure you have the right coverage for your unique needs. Learn more . . .