The summer was lovely. The fall has been nice. (Extra points for everything pumpkin spice flavoured!) Unfortunately, that means winter will be here before we know it. Depending on where you live, it could mean minimal snow, but rain that causes slush along with lots of ice or massive amounts of snow and having to dig your car out of your driveway every morning, before a commute to the office. Whichever your situation, here are our top five tips to make sure you and your car are prepared this winter!
1) Put on Snow Tires or Chains
This one may seem obvious but “in 2010, over 1,400 accidents cited weather conditions among factors. In addition, in almost 3,500 accidents, loose snow or slush was present.” Having snow tires or chains on your car truly does lessen your chances of getting into an accident. In some parts of British Columbia, not using snow tires can result in a fine of up to $109. This map below shows you where and the dates for when BC highways are designated winter tire/chain routes.
2) Check Anti-freeze & Jumper Cables
With the colder weather coming in, it’s important to remember to top-up or change the anti-freeze in your car. It keeps the water in your car radiator from freezing and “[t]here are also anti-corrosive properties in the coolant that protect metal pieces in the engine from corroding.” Make sure your car is all filled up, you don’t need engine troubles! On top of anti-freeze, no vehicle should be without a set of Jumper Cables. This is true year-round but, especially during the winter months. Spare yourself from having to wait in the cold for someone to come by and help or paying a fee for calling a company. We have 8 foot, 8 gauge jumper cables, so you don’t get caught without. They may even come in handy not just for you, but for someone else who needs your help!
3) Have Good Windshield Wipers & Window Scraper
One of the easiest ways to ensure your safety, whilst driving in winter conditions is to make sure you can clearly see where you’re going. This is why you should always make sure you carry extra windshield washer fluid and a window scraper with you. Or if your windshield wipers are very old, consider replacing them. It will make it much easier for you to keep the frost and snow from blocking your view of the road, other drivers and pedestrians.
4) Carry a Small Shovel or Cat Litter
Keeping a small shovel and a bag of cat litter in your car can be a real lifesaver. Particularly in provinces that have more snow. The shovel allows you to dig your car out if you get stuck in deep snow. Cat litter is also great to put down, as it can be used as salt to provide traction if the ground is too slippery, causing your tires to spin.
5) Have a Vehicle Survival Kit
Our Vehicle Survival Kit is a must-have for anyone with a vehicle anytime of the year, but it’s even more valuable to your safety during the winter. With 28 items included in the kit, we’ve covered all the bases.
From a 3,600 calorie food ration, 6 water rations, right down to a 2 pack of toilet paper. It’s all in one bag, making it easy to store and access when you need it. For more of an in-depth look at our Vehicle Survival Kit or to purchase one, go to our online store. Along with all the other tips, if you have one of these, you will be ready for just about anything!
Now that you have read our top 5 tips to have your vehicle winter-ready this season, and you are correctly prepared, you’ll be able to handle whatever the weather throws at you. Stay safe this winter!
- Waterdown Collision – Canadian Collision Statistics in the Winter: Winter Driving Preparation
- Great Canadian Oil Change – AntiFreeze: Maintaining your Coolant in Winter