I hate winter driving! But let’s face it, living in Canada there’s no way to escape the joys of icy roads, drifting snow and poor visibility so we might as well buckle in and prepare for it as best as we can. To help Canadians safely tackle the elements, Ford of Canada’s Winter Drive program continued their road trip with a stop on February 4th at Canada Olympic Park, in Calgary.
Bloggers and local media went to driving school and under the guidance of NASCAR driver Robin Buck were given an overview of driver safety and safe driving skills which were then taken out to be tested on the snow covered obstacle course we had prepared for them. Curve control and to keep things exciting… extreme breaking, were some of the skills covered but not to fear—our participants were placed in vehicles with professional drivers.
On this fiercely frigid day informative fun was had by all as they zipped through the course. I’d have to say working on this event was a good reminder that it’s not just about being prepared for extreme conditions when you’re behind the wheel—there are also things to consider before you hit the road this winter so I’ve decided to blog about these tips below.
Ford’s Winter Driving Tips
- Winter tires offer increased traction, confidence and control in wintery conditions. Winter tires aren’t just for snow. When the temperature dips below 7 degree Celsius the rubber compounds in winter tires better retain their elasticity than all-season tires, helping improve stopping distances.
- Keep your winter tires properly inflated. With the right tire pressure you will get better traction on winter roads and maximized fuel efficiency. For every 5 degrees Celsius the temperature drops your tire pressure also drops. Ask your Ford dealer about tire pressure sensors that will immediately tell you on your dash when there is a significant drop in tire pressure and your tires need air
- Keep your tank at least half full. Fuel gives added weight to the vehicle and also helps keep ice crystals from forming inside your fuel line. You also want to have enough fuel so that you can keep your engine running in case you get stuck to keep warm.
- Remove snow and ice from all windows, mirrors, lights and roof and top up your windshield wiper fluid. Snow can for example suddenly land on your windshield at high speeds. Allow about 10 minutes to clear the car before setting off. Take advantage of the vehicle’s defrost systems, and always have a snow brush and ice scraper in your vehicle to be prepared for the worst! And to ensure you don’t have visibility issues, make sure you top up your windshield wiper fluid and with severe weather like we anticipate choose wiper fluid specific for winter that will not freeze
- Keep an emergency kit in your vehicle. Fill your trunk with winter essentials including boots and a jacket, plus de-icer, snow shovel, blanket, tow rope, torch, a fully-charged mobile phone, chocolate or cereal bars, a scraper and jumper cables as an emergency kit. Put an old square of carpet in the boot for placing under your drive wheels if you get stuck in snow.
I hope you find these tips helpful and please drive safely this winter. Although, we’re getting closer to spring and we’ll soon have the winter driving behind us…I think I’ll keep the chocolate in my car as a year round safety precaution!
What are your top winter driving tips?