Winter Driving Safety


As a follow up to our post from last week on Winter Home Maintenance Tips, we thought it would be helpful to share some tips on winter driving safety for those cold and snowy days ahead!

Safety Tip: Winterize Your Vehicle

Winterizing your vehicle and ensuring that it is in good running condition is always recommended before heading out on the road in cold weather. If you are not mechanically inclined, most auto body shops offer a basic “winterization” package.

Important items to check are:

  • Tires (now is a good time to put on those winter tires, if you haven’t already!
  • Hoses and belts
  • Battery
  • Brakes
  • Heater and Defroster
  • Wiper Blades, washer fluid and antifreeze

Safety Tip: Carry an Emergency Kit

It is also a good idea to carry an emergency safety kit in your vehicle, especially when traveling long distances.

Important items to include are:

  • Food (non-perishable items) and bottled water
  • Extra clothing, including boots, toques, mitts, and gloves
  • Ice scraper and snow brush
  • Blanket, candles and matches
  • Shovel and tow ropes
  • Flares and flashlight
  • Maps
  • Sand/salt (or kitty litter)
  • Jumper cables (good to have year-round)

Note: many retailers, such as Canadian Tire, sell emergency safety kits that contain most of these items.

Drive Safe

When winter driving, take extra caution and stay up-to-date on weather and road conditions. In the event of a storm, it is best to stay off the road if at all possible. It is also good to regularly check your tire pressure, clear windows and clean headlights and tail lights, and keep your fuel tank at minimum 1/2 full.

Winter Tires

A large factor in safe driving is having the proper tires on your vehicle. When traveling on Alberta roads, winter tires as an absolute must!

Tires are one of the things on a vehicle that take the most beating, and they also pose a particularly big hazard should they fail. A bad blowout while driving on a slippery, icy road can cause you to spin out of control in a split second. Even those who are lucky enough to escape a serious blowout can suffer damages to the axle and wheel of their car, which can be expensive to repair.

Choosing the correct winter tire, and knowing when to replace them, can sometimes spell the difference between life and death. A few years ago, Tilbury Auto Mall put out a great winter tire guide , which can be seen below. Check out their blog for this article along with other helpful automotive articles. The guide provides some great information for car owners who are unsure of what kind of tire to get for their vehicle.

If you have any great winter driving tips or winter vehicle maintenance tips to share, we would love to hear from you!

Stay warm and drive safe this winter,

The Costen Insurance Team