As winter conditions set in our driving habits need to adjust to keep ourselves, loved ones, and others safe on the roads.
When the weather turns bad it's a good idea to allow yourself more time to get to your destination, reduce your speed and double your stopping distance.
Deborah Sherwood, Cochrane Driving Academy, Owner/Director, says to set up a two second following distance; when the weather is bad double it.
“To set up the two second rule basically, you're looking at the vehicle in front of you. When it passes a stationary thing like a tree or a lamp post you need to count one thousand and one, one thousand and two, then you should be passing it. If you passed that same object in that time you are traveling too close. That's in dry conditions, in icy conditions you need to double that and make it a four second gap.”
Sherwood says one thing you should keep in mind when driving in inclement weather is; can you stop safely in the distance you can see to be clear? If not you need to slow down your speed.
As the daylight hours get shorter, it is important for people to remember to turn on their lights.
“Lots of people tend to forget and don't put on their lights. Lots of people tend to think their daylight running lights are great. Especially if they are driving along and they think they can see because there are street lights. They are not visible so basically, you have to make sure, not just you can see , you need to be seen.”
Sherwood recommends putting winter tires on your vheicle, but if you choose to use all-season tires make sure to check the tread , see that no bulges or abrasions are visible and make sure the tire is inflated to the correct pressure according to the manual.
Here are some other winter driving tips:
- Only travel when necessary.
- Avoid driving after dark.
- Keep an emergency kit in the car including a shovel, jumper cables, and blanket.
- Bring a phone charger.
- Leave earlier.
- Don't rush.
- Arrive safe.