The colder months present themselves as the most challenging season for any driver. With ice, snow, rain and freezing temperatures all factoring in, winter road conditions are often dreaded by all on the road. Add to that an increase in traffic for the holiday season and you're presented with a potentially nightmarish situation.
Thankfully, this handy guide is here to steer you away from trouble and to keep your drive safe in BC this winter.
Tip #1: Clear Ice and Snow Off Your Car
It may seem obvious to some, but clearing the ice and snow off your entire car — not just the windows — is recommended for a number of reasons. When you only clear your windows, the ice and snow on your hood, roof or trunk can easily dislodge itself on the move and block your vision. Even worse, snow left on the body of your car can fly off and pose a dangerous situation to a fellow motorist.
Although it can seem like a nuisance, the time taken to remove ice and snow off your car is well-served. There are also plenty of tools you can use to make the job easier, such as plastic scrapers and de-icers. If you're still stuck, try using some hand sanitizer (nowadays, we’ve all got some of that on-hand)!
Tip #2: Keep a Safe Distance
Always keep a safe distance from other road users, especially in adverse weather conditions. Snow and ice can prove to be two of the trickiest winter road conditions, as both require some extra foresight to navigate safely. Adverse weather means allowing extra stopping distance when coming to a halt, maintaining a slower-than-normal speed on the highway and open roads and generally expecting the unexpected around you.
For those wondering when to put on winter tires, the start of winter is always the best time. Specialized snow tires will help you better control your car during the winter months. You'll find a vast selection of winter and all-season tires for your vehicle at Certified Auto's online tire finder.
Tip #3: Be Visible
When it comes to winter driving, being able to see is just as important as being seen. Being visible, especially in reduced visibility scenarios, is crucial not only for other road users' safety but also for you. Before setting off, ensure that all lights and reflectors are cleared of snow, ice or mud.
Likewise, it's essential that all of your vehicle's lights are in working order. This includes not only the forward-facing high/low beams and taillights, but also brake lights, turn signals and, crucially, your car's fog lights. Fog lights are not just for use in fog, but they can also serve as a valuable way to make yourself more visible in heavy rain or snow.
Just remember to turn them back off when safe to do so, as there's nothing more annoying to other road users than the incorrect use of fog lights. You may also consider investing in a flare or warning triangle to be placed behind a stationary car in the unfortunate event that you're left stranded at any point.
Tip #4: Plan Your Route
Whatever the journey may be, it's important to plan your route ahead of time. Winter typically sees the most delays on the roads, so it pays to keep an ear on the radio or an eye on traffic reports.
For longer journeys, expect delays and plan around them. Many live traffic reports allow you to predict the busiest hours of travel, allowing you to avoid them wherever possible. Unexpected jams can happen — but by avoiding peak hours, you run the best chance of driving safe in British Columbia.
Tip #5: Visit Certified Auto
At Certified Auto, we are committed to keeping you safe while you tackle the winter road conditions. We specialize in keeping your vehicle running well and prioritize your safety. Our comprehensive inspections and services can help give you peace of mind on the road, while our tire team can advise you on when to put on winter tires on your car.
Call us today to learn more about our wide range of mechanical and service options at 778-741-0151, or visit our contact form to book an appointment online.