Like clockwork, every newspaper and website has been informing the public about good winter driving habits. With all of this information floating around, we didn’t think it was necessary to inundate you with more of the same.
However, Canadian Tire recently released a national survey that made us rethink that stance. According to it only 30 per cent of Canadians have winter tires; 18 per cent don’t think winter tires are needed; 80 per cent think thread depth makes the most difference in winter road handling; 27 per cent use credit cards to scrape off ice; and only 43 per cent think a roadside safety kit is important.
Eek! These numbers certainly don’t increase our confidence when driving during winter months. Canadian Tire has five simple tips you can follow that will make winter driving safe for not only you, but also others on the road.
1. Install winter tires. Seriously, do it. All-season tires start losing traction at seven degrees C. Winter tires use specialized rubber that more easily grips the road, expels snow and absorbs moisture.
2. See and be seen. Replace wiper blades with ones that repel rain, sleet and snow, such as these Rain-X Horizon blades.
3. Top up fluids. Change over to season fluids, like synthetic oil that ensures a good engine start-up.
4. Check the health of your battery. Be proactive; don’t wait until your battery dies before replacing it. On average batteries last five years. If yours is three years or older, have your mechanic test it.
5. Stock up on essential winter items. Having a snowbrush, ice scraper, collapsible shovel and booster cables should be mandatory! We really liked these LED booster cables – a light comes on when you open the clamp, making it easy to see in low-light situations.