Statistics state that winter tires, in good condition, can shorten braking distances by as much as 25%.
With winters such as those we receive here in the northern gta, winter tires can serve as an essential component in our winter driving safety practices.
Due to the increased amounts of snow we receive, as well as the ever present ‘black ice’ on our roads, a good set of winter tires should be on the top of every driver’s shopping list.
Snow tires are designed to operate in cold weather, and should be installed in late fall after the first frost (ahead of snow and ice).
Professionals recommend drivers check air pressure in tires frequently, as lower temperatures cause tires to lose pressure.
Wipers & Washer fluid:
Windshield wipers are another essential component to safe driving practices. The salt and slush from the roads inevitably end up spraying vehicles’ windshields, often resulting in reduced visibility, and glare. A good rule of thumb is to replace windshield wipers in early fall in anticipation to the messy winter ahead.
It is also very important to ensure your vehicle is topped up with washer fluid (especially if taking a long trip), and always be sure to carry an extra gallon of washer fluid in your trunk. Keep windshields clean in messy weather to ensure full visibility at all times.
With time, you will notice that your headlights may not seem to be as bright as they were when you first purchased your vehicle. Often times, all you need is a headlight rejuvenation. Any bodyshop will be able to provide this service. Basically, the plastic casing surrounding your headlights becomes scratched and fogged due to regular wear and tear, as well as the extreme climate changes we experience. The headlights receive a buffing and polishing, removing all scratches and imperfections, and removing the yellowish film coating the exterior of the light.
Keeping your headlights in tip top condition increases your visibility in the dark and snowy weather, and helps other vehicles know of your whereabouts on the road as well.
Pack a winter safety kit:
We have all seen those movies where drivers and passengers are stranded in a vehicle for days in a snow storm with no way to contact anyone for help. It could happen, and it is better to be prepared. A good safety practice is to prepare a winter safety kit, and keep it in the trunk of your car.
Including the following items in your kit could save your life in the event of an emergency;
- non-perishable food and high protein snacks
- flares (if available)
- first aid kit (incase of injuries)
By Sandra Barbaro of Albion Hills Auto Collision