It is not enough to know the driving laws when driving in Canada. This is a country which is known for its harsh winters, which result in some potentially dangerous driving conditions. Two weather factors that drivers often encounter are having to drive in snow and ice. Several steps can easily be taken to reduce the danger of these situations.
Reduce Your Speed
It is plain common sense to slow down when driving in snow and ice conditions. Most drivers are forced to do this if it is still snowing as visibility is reduced. But, some will not pay attention to this if the snow has stopped, even though the roads are still snow-laden. Until the roads and streets have been cleared of the snow, or salt has been used for the ice, normal driving speeds may not be safe.
Increase Your Following Distance
It is much more difficult to stop on roads that are covered with snow and ice. Usually, the following distance for safe stopping is three to four seconds. In weather conditions such as snow and ice, this should be increased to eight to ten seconds.
Know How To Handle Your Vehicle
You should have the necessary skills to handle any of these road conditions. Drivers must know how to manage their vehicle if it begins to slide. They must be able to relax, remain calm and not panic, as they may need to be able to react quickly. Knowing how to handle hills that are covered in snow and ice is essential. Drivers should avoid accelerating to climb hills, and when going down hills, they should avoid using the brakes and use their low gear.
Prepare for Bad Winter Weather Driving
It does not matter whether you will be driving your vehicle or renting one. You need to be prepared for these types of driving conditions. The car should have the proper winter or all-weather tires. There should be plenty of antifreeze. The heater in the vehicle must be working. Drivers should carry an emergency kit with them during the winter months.
Respect the Road Crews
Throughout Canada, there are road crews that are designated to help to keep the roads clear of ice and snow. During these dangerous times, it is not unusual to see many snow plows doing their jobs up and down the roads. Keep an eye out for flashing blue lights in the distance. This will probably be the snow plows. Some provinces have rules about passing snow ploughs. If so, it is usually that the pass will be illegal if it has to exceed 60 km. In any event, when the weather is nasty, it is usually safer to remain behind the snow ploughs at a safe distance, as their equipment is creating a better road surface for driving.
The best tip is to avoid driving in this type of weather if at all possible. If this cannot be avoided, then give yourself plenty of extra time to arrive at your destination. Always be prepared for these types of driving conditions in Canada during the winter months.