As Canadians we know that winter comes each year, and we brave it with a scarf, smile and a Timmies in hand. Winter is our season, and we are always ready for it! This is the season for people to lace up their skates, dust off the hockey sticks and bring out the shovel. Canadians and winter go hand in hand, and the whole world knows it. We are ready to brave the bitter cold and push through the icy roads, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have to prepare our vehicles with a few winter driving tips. At Alliston VW, we believe in vehicles that are ready to take on the season, and we want all drivers to be careful and prepared on the roads this winter. This is why we have prepared a few winter driving tips to help everyone get through the season safely!
Winters in Alliston, Ontario
Each year as we see the first few snowflakes and the temperatures drop below zero, we are reminded that we live in a country where we get all four seasons. As beautiful as the snowy conditions look from inside our warm houses, we know that driving will present its own set of challenges during the season and that everything changes on the roads as soon as that first flake falls. Even when we don’t see a lot of snow, the season brings with it a variety of road hazards that make driving more difficult, and make us more cautious drivers. Besides snow, we have to drive with ice, gravel, sand and road salt. Conditions are ever changing and we always need to be prepared for anything winter throws at us.
Check Road and Weather Conditions Before Heading Out
Before you head out driving, whether that is for your daily commute for work, or to see relatives throughout Ontario, you want to check the road and weather conditions. In the winter and in Ontario, the conditions can change in what seems like the blink of an eye, and you always want to be prepared for the best, and the worst. Check both the hourly forecast and the posted road conditions to see what you can expect while driving, and ensure that you are cautious while driving in wintry conditions.
Remove Snow, Ice and Frost From Your Vehicle Before Driving
There is nothing better on a winter morning than getting into a warm car. As much as everyone likes to start their car before heading out, some mornings that just doesn’t happen. Regardless, you should always clear off your vehicle of any snow, frost or ice before starting to drive. During the winter you want to have maximum visibility to see the road ahead.
Get Seasonal Winter Tires
As temperatures drop and snow starts to fall, you should always consider changing your tires for specialized winter tires. All-season and winter tires are not the same, and the later may lose grip during the frigid Alliston winters. Below 7 degrees celsius, many tires begin to lose functionality specifically when it comes to their ability to grip the road and adapt to changing road conditions. The experts in the Alliston service center can help you find winter tires that are perfect for your Volkswagen vehicle this winter so that you can ensure you are driving safe on the icy roads.
Always Drive For the Road Conditions
This one should be common sense, but in rush hour traffic or on busy weekends, everyone in Alliston needs to get somewhere, and speeds tend to increase. In the winter, everyone should be driving based on road conditions, not posted speed limits. These government regulated speed limits are for clear good conditions, and during the winter and poor road conditions speeds should decrease. Always drive cautiously, slow down and make sure to give yourself extra time to get where you are going. Besides speed, you always want to watch for changing road conditions such as black ice, gravel, snow and accidents. Be aware of the roads you are driving on.
Always Have An Emergency Kit in Your Car
No matter whether you are driving down the block, or driving across the country, you should have an emergency kit in your vehicle. Blizzards and unexpected conditions can happen at any time, and you don’t want to be unprepared in the snow. In any emergency situation a vehicle emergency kit can keep you safe, warm and alive, especially when temperatures and conditions are bad. In an emergency kit you should consider having the following items:
- A small shovel
- A flashlight
- A candle and matches (in a tin container is best)
- Booster Cables
- Water Bottles
- Non perishable food items
- A first aid kit
- Ice scraper
- Snow brush
- Windshield wiper fluid
- A blanket
- A toque
Keep Your Gas Tank Full
During the winter, you never know when it might take longer to get where you need to go, or what conditions you might get stuck in. Whether you need to pull over on the side of the road to wait out white-out conditions or you get stuck, running out of gas can put everything in perspective. This is why you should make sure you fill up before heading out on the road, especially for highway driving and longer trips. Not only does keeping your gas tank full allow you to keep the car running and to take a detour if need be, if also weighs down the vehicle which can allow you to stop faster.
Keep Your Vehicle Winter Driving Ready, and Be Safe Out There!
We hope that you find some of these winter driving tips helpful while you are out braving the Alliston winters. Remember to always keep a mode of communication with you, have necessary paperwork and phone numbers and keep your vehicle serviced and ready to go. If you have any more questions about preparing your vehicle for the winter, or about getting your vehicle “winter ready” contact our amazing service staff here at Alliston VW.