Okay, it’s official! Winter has come and it’s here to stay. Whether you like it or not, preparing for winter storms and cold weather, especially when driving during the busy holiday season, is a must. To help keep you organized and stay on top of everything there is to know, we have put together eight tips to help keep you safe and comfortable on the roads this winter.
1. A good pair of gloves or mittens
It’s just as important to keep your hands warm while gripping the steering wheel as it is when you are shovelling. When driving, gloves generally offer better dexterity and are more practical. However, mittens are your best bet when it comes to clearing the snow off of your vehicle. Why? Because they retain more heat—your fingers are all gathered together instead of separated. As a backup, slip an extra pair of mittens into your glove compartment for those extra snowy days.
2. A warm winter jacket
A warm pair of mittens are nice, but a good winter jacket is your best friend. Temperatures have been known to plummet to -40 degrees (brrr!) and shoot right back up to seasonal a few days later. That is why choosing a breathable, yet warm winter jacket is the way to go. It will prevent you from getting drenched in sweat during a good snow removal session or on days when Mother Nature is feeling generous! To get the best bang for your buck, shop at sportswear stores (brick and mortar or online). We suggest looking for Canadian brands that make jackets built specifically to withstand Canadian winters.
3. Snow clearing essentials
Don’t let the winter weather keep you off the roads this year with these essentials. Survive Mother Nature’s mood swings and cruise in comfort and safety in even the most extreme weather conditions. Snow, hail or even freezing rain won’t faze you if you always keep these essentials on hand:
A snow brush
A small shovel
Window washer fluid
4. A winter driving survival kit
Putting together a winter driving survival kit will help you keep your cool during roadside breakdowns or unexpected vehicle troubles. It happens to the best of us—be prepared with:
A flashlight with rechargeable batteries
Warm fleece and aluminum blankets
A comprehensive first-aid kit
A whistle and safety vest so that you can be seen and heard
Dried food and water
5. A pair of traction mats
We (too) often brave dangerously icy conditions as the snow melts and refreezes on our roads throughout the winter. Trust me, you will be glad you invested in a pair of traction mats! Expert tip: experiment with using sand or even non-clumping cat litter. Sand and cat litter work the same as traction mats by helping your tires grip onto slick roads so that you can get to where you need to go.
6. Jumper cables
Is your battery dead? It happens when temperatures dip below freezing! Keeping jumper cables in your trunk can be a lifesaver. With the help of a good Samaritan, since a second vehicle is needed, and armed with a little patience, your engine will be up and running again in no time. Make sure that you understand how the jumper cables work so that you can get back on the road as quickly as possible.
7. Roadside assistance service
Don’t get left out in the cold this winter! Invest in some peace of mind with a roadside assistance service. They can help you if you need:
An emergency fuel delivery
Your doors unlocked
8. Apps that make winter driving a breeze
Technology can now help you stay safe and comfortable when driving. Download apps that keep you up to date on current weather or road conditions in real time (including the Weather Network, Google Maps or Quebec 511) and hit the road with confidence.