‘Tis the season of visiting family and friends, and oftentimes that means spending a lot of time in the car and travelling through some pretty inclement conditions. It can be tricky business driving the roads when the weather is treacherous, so what are some key tips to make the journey safe for you and yours? It starts with being pro-active and setting your car up for the ride. Here’s what to consider!
Set your car up for safety
This sounds fairly obvious, but make sure your vehicle can handle the bad weather, when it comes. Check tires, lights, wipers, brakes and fluids, and don’t forget to make sure your battery is in good working order, too. If you haven’t installed your winter tires yet, then get to it. Winter tires are a must-have for any cold, snowy Canadian winter – they will help improve your vehicle handling immeasurably.
Sound like a lot? Get your car checked by a professional. Set up tire and car services right on your phone. DRIVE is a free, easy-to-use app that is your one-stop-shop for all your car needs.
Shovel off that snow
Before you start your drive, clear off all the snow from your car before you set out. This means the hood, the roof, your bumper, and your lights. Once you start driving, and the wind picks up, that snow could become a dangerous hazard and block your view.
Make sure your cellphone is charged
Be sure your cellphone is charged up before you leave, and always keep an extra charging cable or battery in your car. It may be your only lifeline if you find yourself stranded.
Slippery roads = slowing down
Forget cruise control, if the roads are slippery, your best offence is in slowing down and taking the ride slow. One of the most important things you can do is to drive smoothly, so make sure to leave plenty of space between you and the car ahead in case you skid while braking. Remember that you need to drive for the conditions: Speed limits are posted for ideal conditions, not when the road is icy or snow-covered.
Educate yourself on the techniques you can employ when driving in snowy and wintery conditions, so you’re fully prepared ahead of time.
Never go below half a tank of gas
You look at your gas gauge one minute and think you have plenty of gas to get you from point A to point B, and then all of sudden it seems to be gone in a flash (it happens to the best of us!). A good rule of thumb is to not to let your tank get below half-full. Keeping your gas tank more than half full adds weight to your vehicle and prevents gas line freezing.
Keep a safety kit in your trunk
In the unfortunate event your car runs out of gas, breaks down, or gets stuck in the snow, the best way to calm your nerves and anxiety is in knowing you have a stocked emergency kit in your car that can help. This could include a variety of things, all designed to fix you in a pinch: Think of a small shovel, windshield washer fluid, flashlight, antifreeze, jumper cables, a warm blanket, granola bars, and a first-aid kit. Extra water bottles and candles (with the requisite matches) are a great addition, too.
Keep your glove box clean
Never drive without all your vehicle paperwork such as insurance, ownership and service records. But all these papers can clutter your glove box, so it’s time to go digital.
Get the DRIVE app and store everything in one place for easy access and peace of mind. You’ll be able to see things like your vehicle valuation, your vehicle documents, and even get recall notifications – right on your phone! Just make sure not to skip tip 3 and keep your cellphone charged.
Simply put: pay attention.
Maneuvers are more difficult to make in the snow, so try to anticipate what your next move is going to be to give yourself lots of room for turns and stopping. Don’t “pump” your breaks and brake slowly to reduce speed before entering turns. Once you have rounded a corner, you can then accelerate again.
This post is part of our 12 Days of Carrot marketing campaign. Today’s contest and blog is sponsored by DRIVE.