How to prepare for winter driving conditions.
Winter driving in Alberta can be safe when proper precautions are taken. As Ned Stark once said “Winter is Coming.” And in Alberta, that means winter will be here soon. Learn how you can prepare for a season of icy roads, limited snowy vision, and more before the cold strikes!
Being prepared for snow and ice on the roads in Edmonton, Calgary and surrounding areas is a must. Below are recommendations on how you can better prepare yourself and your vehicle for winter driving conditions.
How can I prepare my car for winter conditions? No matter what type of vehicle you drive, whether it is a 4×4 all wheel drive SUV, or a front wheel drive 2-door compact car, your vehicle should be equipped with proper winter tires. Winter tires will have the proper tread to increase traction on less than ideal surfaces, while also being manufactured to properly function in frigid temperatures. During the fall season, schedule a vehicle service with your mechanic to ensure brakes are in good condition, fluids are topped, and no maintenance is required. This can help prevent break-downs or stalls in colder weather. We also recommend installing a new set of wiper blades to improve visibility. If you have any existing small chips in your windshield, fill them ahead of time to avoid cracking and obstruction of view. Always be prepared by keeping an emergency kit in your vehicle. Items such as blankets, extra clothes, water and food, flashlight, shovel, jumper cables, and a first aid kit are all recommended in case of a break down or accident.
Should I only drive in winter with an all-wheel drive vehicle? Winter driving can be safe in front-wheel, rear-wheel, and all-wheel drive vehicles. Driving handling will vary between the different drive trains due to the power exerted to different areas of the vehicle. For instance a rear wheel drive vehicle will produce more power to the rear axel, while all-wheel drive vehicles can increase traction by sending power to all four wheels more equally.
How can I be a safer driver in the winter? Many factors influence safe driving in winter conditions, this can include speed and braking. Slowing down your speed to account for conditions and leaving proper spacing for braking can help improve safety. Take into account hard braking can lock your brakes especially when traction is lost due to an icy surface.
What should I remember before driving in winter conditions? Before leaving your house, ensure you have your cell phone on and charged, and always bring proper clothing with you such as winter boots and a jacket.
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