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Top Tips for Safe Driving This Winter

Winter in the greater Vancouver area brings beautiful snowy landscapes, but it also poses challenges for drivers. Various driving conditions, such as rain, snow, and icy roads, make the daily commute a bit more stressful.

To ensure a safe and stress-free winter driving experience, here are seven essential tips to keep in mind:

1. Invest in a good set of winter tires:

Vancouver’s winter weather can be unpredictable, and having the right tires can make all the difference. As temperatures drop, regular tires lose their grip on icy and snowy roads. Winter tires provide better traction on snow and ice, improving your vehicle’s stability and control. Investing in a high-quality set of winter tires is a crucial step in preparing your vehicle for the colder months.  Also be sure to plan your travels, winter tires are a requirement for certain highways and you can be fined for being unprepared.

2. Turn your headlights on:

Visibility is key during winter driving, especially when daylight is limited. Turning on your headlights not only helps you see the road better but also makes your vehicle more visible to others. This simple step significantly reduces the risk of accidents, especially during heavy snowfall or foggy conditions.

3. Clear your vehicle of snow:

Before hitting the road, take the time to clear your vehicle of all snow and ice. This includes not only the windows but also the roof, hood, and lights. Snow blowing off your car while driving can pose a hazard to other drivers and may even lead to fines. Ensure your vehicle is completely clear before embarking on your journey.

4. Carry emergency supplies:

Winter weather can be unpredictable, and it’s essential to be prepared for the unexpected. Keep an emergency kit in your vehicle, including items such as a blanket, non-perishable snacks, a flashlight, a first aid kit, and a basic toolkit. These supplies can be invaluable if you find yourself stranded or facing a prolonged delay.

5. Increase following distance:

Roads can be slippery during winter, and it takes longer to come to a stop on icy surfaces. Increase your following distance to allow for more reaction time in case the vehicle in front of you brakes suddenly. This simple adjustment can help prevent rear-end collisions and ensure a safer driving experience.

6. Stay informed:

Stay updated on weather forecasts and road conditions before embarking on your journey. Vancouver offers various resources, including online platforms and local news channels, where you can access real-time information about road closures, weather warnings, and traffic updates. Being informed allows you to plan your route more effectively and make informed decisions about your travel.

7. Stay calm and drive with caution:

Winter driving can be stressful, but it’s crucial to remain calm and drive with caution. Avoid sudden movements, be gentle on the brakes and accelerator, and stay focused on the road. If conditions worsen, consider adjusting your travel plans or pulling over in a safe location until conditions improve. Staying calm and collected behind the wheel is key to ensuring your safety and the safety of others during the winter months in Vancouver.

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