While the snow is finally on its way, here are some best practices to keep in mind to stay safe this Winter season.
Make sure your car is prepped with snow tires before the snow, slush and ice starts rearing its head. Also, make sure you let your insurance company know you have snow tires on your car as this could get you a discount on your policy. As a side note, think about investing in and signing up for CAA (Canadian Automobile Association), they can assist you if you encounter problems with your car such as; battery service (boost or replacement), flat tire (installing of spare tire so you don’t get stranded), fuel delivery (just in case you run out of gas), lockout (just in case you lock your keys inside the car by accident) and towing services (if you have an accident or car dies) to name a few.
Make sure you check for the weather conditions before heading out and be aware of any predicted storms coming your way!
Always be aware of the weather before leaving home as our weather can change at any time. If there is a storm headed your way evaluate how necessary it is to leave your home and if you could wait out the storm or reschedule your plans.
Practice safe driving in the winter!
Not only will practicing safe driving in the winter help keep you safe, it will also keep others safe too. Just remember – no need to rush! Drive slow and steady and don’t use cruise control as you won’t keep a consistent speed when driving in the snow. Keep a safe distance between you and other cars just in case you slip on the snow while braking you could save yourself from hitting others. As mentioned above, having snow tires installed on your car will give you more grip while driving in bad conditions and letting your insurance company know that you have snow tires installed could get you a discount on your policy. Make sure you clear the snow off of your entire car including the roof so you have full visibility and helps keep other cars safe from driving near you. You may not realize but the snow on your car could fly off onto other cars around you obstructing their view and making it dangerous for them. Side note, always make sure your gas tank is full as you don’t want to potentially get stranded with no gas, this will add even more time to your already longer travel time!
Create your own or buy a roadside survival kit!
You never know when you’ll need essential survival items when travelling in your car if you breakdown, have an accident or have an emergency.
Some of the essential items to keep in your roadside survival kit but not limited to:
- A flashlight or headlamp (a crank flashlight or one with batteries just remember to keep spare batteries just in case)
- Road flares (LED or regular flares) and a reflective safety triangle
- First aid kit (first aid items such as: band-aids, gauze, antiseptic, safety pins, sterile disposable gloves, water, non-perishable food items (granola bars, etc.)
- Heavy duty jumper cables, multi-tool, bungee cords, cable ties, tire pressure gauge, duct tape, seatbelt cutter and window hammer
- Poncho, blanket, extra winter gloves, hat, sweater
- Extendable shovel, ice scraper/snow brush
Be alert on sidewalk shoveling laws
As a home owner you should be aware of the sidewalk (or building surrounding roadways) clearing laws in your district or else you could get a fine or could potentially face a lawsuit if someone slips, falls and hurts themselves on the walkways surrounding your property! In Ontario, you must clear the snow/ice on sidewalks/walkways surrounding your property within 12 hours after any snowfall, rain or hail storms have ceased.
All in all, it is best to practice the above steps to make them second nature to you to keep yourself and others safe on the road in the winter.
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