Does driving in winter weather conditions send a shiver down your spine? You’re not alone. According to a recent survey by ICBC, 40% of respondents felt less confident driving in the winter and 70% felt both less safe and frustrated by the actions of other drivers.
Although Victoria doesn’t tend to have the same severe conditions that the rest of Canada suffers each winter, it is still important to plan for the season.
Here’s some quick tips:
- slow down, mother nature has, so should you. Everything takes longer on wet, icy or snowy roads, give yourself more time to make safe decisions;
- switch to winter tires – all season tires begin to lose elasticity and grip on the road at temperatures below 7°C, according to Transport Canada;
- ease off the gas and don’t brake if your vehicle starts to hydroplane or you run into black ice. Look and steer smoothly in the direction you’d like to go;
- to smoothly handle snow-covered corners, begin to brake steadily as you approach the turn. Once in the corner, ease off the brakes and use the car’s remaining traction to steer through the turn;
- when the road is steep and icy, gently accelerate before you reach the base of the hill let that inertia drive you up, and when heading down ease off the gas – if possible detour to a flatter route;
- keep the cruise control off so that you’re in control if you hit bad road conditions;
- reduce your speed and increase your distance from the car in front of you to protect yourself and your passengers from the unexpected; and,
- most importantly if you still don’t feel safe, choose to stay home or let a professional take the wheel using public transit or taxi.
Click these links for more tips on safe driving in winter from ICBC or to check road conditions at DriveBC.