Winter is upon us with its snow and ice, snowplows to clear our roads, and often, drivers who are unprepared. To help you be better prepared, this winter and next, the Thomson Schindle Green Insurance Company team of insurance brokers have pulled together these winter driving tips because your safety matters.
Boy Scouts have the right idea in their motto – Be Prepared. This starts with a fall check-up that includes your battery, ignition system, lights, brakes, exhaust, heating, windshield wipers, all fluid levels, and installing four matching winter tires.
Next, plan your trip by checking road and weather conditions before you leave home. If you must drive, slow down, give yourself extra time for travel and always tell someone where you are going, the route you plan to take, and when you expect to arrive. The safest strategy is to avoid driving in bad weather and wait for conditions to improve.
Remove all snow from your vehicle’s hood, roof, windows, and lights and clear all windows of frost and fog before your vehicle moves so you can see, and be seen. Don’t talk and drive, but a fully charged cell phone is very useful in an emergency or if you need help. Pack a winter survival kit and keep it in your trunk.
Learn by taking a winter driving course and practice winter driving techniques before you need them like controlling skids. Wear warm clothes that do not restrict movement. Pay attention, be alert, well rested, and sober behind the wheel and always wear your seat belt. Match your speed to the road and weather conditions. Avoid passing another vehicle when weather and road conditions are bad. Watch for black ice at temperatures between +4°C and -4°C, where the road surface ahead looks black and shiny. It is often found on shaded areas of the road, bridges and overpasses long after the sun has come out.
Other safety considerations include knowing a bit about snow – it makes maneuvering more difficult. Be sure to anticipate what your next move is going to be and give yourself lots of room between vehicles for turns. Stopping also takes much longer on snowy and icy roads than on dry pavement, so tailgating collisions becomes much worse in winter weather. Avoid cruise control in bad weather as it makes it easy to lose control of your vehicle. Finally, know your vehicles braking system – for vehicles equipped with an anti-lock braking system (ABS), do not pump the brakes, apply a constant pressure and let the system do its work.
Alberta Auto Insurance
If you have questions about winter driving, and the best auto insurance options for you and your family to address them, Thomson Schindle Green Insurance Company or TSG Insurance brokers are happy to discuss the rates for our selection of insurance products and financial planning to find personal or business coverage that fits your budget. Contact TSG Insurance at 1.888.224.5677 and our insurance brokerages in Calgary, Sherwood Park, Brooks, Bassano or Medicine Hat will be pleased to serve you.