Winter Driving Safety Tips

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The rest of Canada tends to sneer at Toronto’s milquetoast winters, but the past month’s wild cocktail of blizzards, freezing rain and brutal cold showed that the GTA is as susceptible to messy weather as Manitoba or Newfoundland. (Okay, maybe not as susceptible, but susceptible nonetheless.) For car accident lawyers in Toronto, the spate of storms emphasized the importance of safe driving habits during the winter months. The worst weather of the season may be behind us, but it’s not too late to review winter driving tips to help you stay safe until spring.

Vehicle Preparation

 First things first: if your car doesn’t have winter tires, get them now. Winter tires are critical to ensuring your safety on slippery roads. While all-season tires lose traction below 7°C, winter tires improve handling and performance and can shorten braking distance by as much as 25 per cent. Plus, cars with winter tires may be eligible for insurance discounts!

You should also consider assembling a ‘survival kit’ for emergencies. Getting stranded on a snowy highway isn’t unheard of in Ontario; CBC News Toronto recommends keeping a kit in your trunk containing gloves, booster cables, a small shovel, windshield wiper fluid, a first aid kit, a flashlight, a snow brush, candles, a safety vest, water bottles, and non-perishable foods like energy bars.

Plan Your Trip

 In bad weather, a little planning can mean the difference between a safe trip and a serious accident. Check the weather forecast ahead of every trip. If snow or ice are on the horizon, be sure to give yourself extra time to reach your destination. Plan a route that you’re comfortable with – if driving the 401 in a blizzard sounds intimidating, consider taking side roads; if the forecast looks particularly foul, consider staying home.

Make sure you’ve got phone numbers for emergency services and your insurance provider handy, as well.

Winter Driving Basics

After reviewing the basics of winter driving, it is clear that steady, cautious driving is your best chance for a safe commute. Take full advantage of that extra time you planned for: drive more slowly than usual, leave more space between cars, and avoid using cruise control.

Unfortunately, sometimes even the safest drivers are involved in car accidents. If you or a member of your family has been injured on an Ontario road, contact Neinstein Personal Injury Lawyers today to arrange a free, no-obligation consultation. Our team of experienced car accident lawyers in Toronto will assess the viability of your claim and provide guidance as you embark on your legal journey.

Greg Neinstein
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