Winter Safety Tips - On and Off the Road
Winter is firmly here in Canada, and that means taking some extra precautions. Our country is subject to temperatures below freezing for months on end and takes heavy loads of snowfall throughout the season, so naturally, hazards can increase whether you’re behind the wheel or not. That’s why we put together this winter weather travel advisory article, so you can stay as safe as possible this winter and still get where you need to go. This complements our guide on how to prep your car for winter.
Covid-19 & Illnesses: Private Transport vs Public Transport
Winter in Canada gets very cold, so naturally, colds become a lot more common, along with flu and other respiratory illnesses such as the Covid-19 virus. Viruses spread more readily in winter because we spend a lot more time inside without fresh air, while the colder, drier air we are exposed to is thought to reduce our natural resistance.
With this in mind, it only makes sense to take further measures when traveling via public transport. On buses and trains, you’re surrounding yourself with strangers for extended periods of time, with various people getting on and off at different stages. who brings the risk of potential infection. If you must use public transport in the winter, you should make sure to wear a mask, sanitize your hands regularly and maintain social distancing when possible. Traveling in your own car is generally a safer bet to escape illness, especially in wintertime.
Winter Driving Safety Tips
While having your own automobile can provide better safeguarding against viruses, driving in the wintertime comes with its own set of risks and hazards. Icy roads along with unpredictable rain, hail, and snowfall can each cause a bevy of issues when traveling by car in harsh winter weather.
We’ve put together a winter car safety checklist based on professional advice, so you can make sure that you travel safely this holiday season.
- Think about how essential your journey is. If you can go without driving, take that route rather than risking it.
- Keep emergency supplies in the car. Blankets, warm socks, snacks, water, and a phone charger will be essential if you end up stuck for an extended period of time.
- Adjust your car’s settings. If your vehicle has the option, make sure you’re in the optimum mode for driving in the cold.
- Smoothness is everything. Try and make every change of gear, turn, or moment of braking as smooth as possible. Sudden jolts could lead to slips and slides.
- Remember braking distance. On the ice, your braking distance will be greatly increased (up to 10 times higher!), so account for this when on the road.
- In the case of skids, don’t panic. If you skid on ice while driving, don’t accelerate or brake suddenly. Instead, try to steer into the skid slightly.
- Stay safe in hail. Don’t leave the car, and in particular heavy hails, try to drive somewhere undercover, so your car’s windows and windshield don’t get damaged.
- Be wary of black ice. This ice is harder to see, so just remain cautious, watch for other skidding cars and look out for glints in the road.
We hope this guide was helpful for this cold Canadian winter. For more blogs on travel and transport, just click this link!