PREPARE YOURSELF FOR WINTER DRIVING
Now that summer is a far distant memory and the fall is nearly over, we prepare ourselves for the winter to come. Will you be prepared?
Preparation for winter driving includes having your vehicle inspected, adjusting your driving habits, and knowing what to do in the event of an emergency.
This is a good time to have your engine tuned-up. Have a qualified person inspect your car's battery, check the radiator coolant, inspect and adjust the brakes, and install winter tires. Add gas line antifreeze and check the windshield washer fluid as well.
Most vehicles are equipped with all-season tires, especially in urban areas. These tires perform well, but winter snow tires naturally provide the best traction. For best results, install snow tires on all four wheels. If only one pair of tires is available, have them installed on the drive wheels.
Power Under Control
Winter road conditions drastically reduce a vehicle's handling and braking capabilities. Motorists who fail to modify their driving style for the winter season risk serious looses and personal injury.
It is commonly assumed that a vehicle travelling at 100 km/h will take twice the distance to stop as a vehicle travelling at 50 km/h. In fact, it takes four times the distance!
Braking distances can be increased by as much as five to seven times due to freshly fallen snow. It normally takes about twice as long to brake to a stop in winter road conditions. Drivers should anticipate these increased braking distances and adjust their driving accordingly.
If you become stranded, be aware of other traffic. Many stranded motorists are fatally injured while standing near their vehicles or while attempting to get assistance. Choose either to remain inside the vehicle or move well away from traffic.
Ensure that your vehicle is visible to others. Clear snow away from the head lamps and tail lamps, turn on four-way flashers, and light flares behind the car.
On longer trips, be sure to take along blankets and warm clothes incase you are stranded and must remain in the vehicle. For added warmth, a single candle can warm your car by 4.5°C (10°F). Snack bars stored in the glove compartment will provide nourishment and strength.
Run your engine for ten minutes every hour and keep your window partially open for ventilation. Make sure the exhaust pipe is not clogged. If there is more than one person in the car, alternate sleep periods.
An ice scraper, brush, shovel, and bag of sand or salt should be kept in the trunk during winter. Booster cables, flares, a flashlight and a first aid kit are recommended year round.
Winter driving calls for extra care. Take your time and get accustomed to the road conditions. Smooth driving requires gentle acceleration and gradual braking. Be prepared for the winter driving season and don't let the first snowflake catch you off-guard!
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Walters Forensic Engineering | 277 Wellington
Street West, Suite 800 | Toronto, ON M5V 3H2