Best Winter Car Safety Tips!
For the new, and experienced winter drivers!

Not only can the weather be unpredictable and frigid during the winter months, but road safety can be too! Being safe in your vehicle all year round is vital to getting from one place, to the next. Today, we’re going to be breaking down exactly how and what you can do to prepare yourself for the slippery and unexpected driving conditions that the winter-time can bring!

Snow Tires on Snowy Road

For these tips, we’re going to separate them into three different lists: one with more maintenance-oriented items that you put within or on your vehicle, another with things you’d typically have in a dedicated winter emergency car kit somewhere in your vehicle that you’d use if you ever needed them, and a third more to the tune of how to drive safer!

What Do I Put In My Vehicle?

First we’re going to start with things you would do to your car to make sure you are as safe as can be with regards to vehicle and road safety, not necessarily just in the case of an emergency.

  • Winter Tires
  • If you don’t have these on by now, schedule an appointment with your local tire shop or mechanic and have them put on as soon as possible. Or if you prefer the true DIY-spirit, grab the ol’ tire-iron or wrench and pop off your current tires and get the winters on! It’s important you do this as soon as the temperature reaches an average of below 7 degrees Celsius, or 45 degrees Fahrenheit, since that is when most winter tires are more effective than summers, or all seasons.

  • Wiper Blades
  • As with winter tires, these are a vehicle essential during the winter, and more specifically to being able to see properly when ice, snow, and slush are all over the road.

  • Anti-Freeze
  • Your car needs to stay cool during the summer, and warm during the winter. Antifreeze helps to maintain the perfect temperature within your engine so that you can drive and operate your vehicle as safely and as soundly as possible!

  • Windshield Wiper Fluid
  • Almost a mixture of wiper blades and anti-freeze, windshield wiper fluid is extremely important to seeing properly, especially when there’s a lot of salt, dirt and slush all over the roads – which eventually make their way onto your windshield! Staying one step ahead of the curve and having your windshield wiper fluid topped up and ready to go can save you in the long-run!

  • Windshield Scraper/Duster
  • Some could argue one of the essential winter car tools! These are both important for the overall safety of your drive from Point A to Point B! Having this dynamic duo can make a voyage all the better and easier!

Car Antifreeze

What Should I Have Just in Case?

Great question! Many people would simply leave it at that and head on out to their next destination without considering the need for anything else. But that’s just where this list gets not only interesting, but important!

Car Safety Kit

Must Have: Emergency Winter Car Safety Kit

A kit to keep you as safe and as comfortable as possible in the midst of a blizzard is a must during the winter months in case you get stranded on a highway and have to wait for someone or for the weather to die down. Here is a list of things we think are extremely important and have to be included:

  • Portable Shovel
  • Highway Markers
  • Portable phone battery
  • Flashlight
  • First-aid kit
  • Booster cables
  • Gloves
  • Blanket
  • Portable Air Compressor
  • Basic tools (i.e. screwdriver, adjustable wrench, etc.)

General Winter Driving Safety Tips

Making sure your car is ready for the roads and is stocked with all the fail-safes in case the worst happens is one thing – but you still have to drive appropriately on the road! Here are some slightly more driving-oriented tips so you can be your safest driving in a winter wonderland!

  • Watch the speed!
  • Not talking to anyone specific (except maybe you), but winter driving can be intimidating, even for experienced drivers! Make sure to drive with caution to the roads and keep a mindful eye on your speedometer!

  • The "Winter Haze"
  • This one's for those of you living in spots of the world where the snow falls in larger amounts: be mindful of passing others on the road, especially when there's a decent amount of snow/ice on the road. Not only is it more difficult on you as a driver to pass in the first place, but you can put a lot of snow on the car you're passing – to the point where they probably won't see much ahead of them.

  • Follow the leader
  • Similar to the previous point – but sometimes the safest thing you can do is put a safe amount of space between you and the car ahead of you, and simply follow them as far as either of you need to go. This not only helps your visibility since you can see who's in front of you at all times, but it also helps those less experienced drivers who aren't as comfortable in winter weather just yet.

  • Pump up the jam (or your brakes)!
  • Braking during adverse winter conditions can be tricky – since it can actually do more harm than good for your safety. So to avoid having to brake too much, be aware of who/what is in front of you at all times, and do not slam on the brakes when you're slipping, you will likely start to slip and lose control of your vehicle. This means giving other vehicles more space on the road than you normally would, that way you can get home safe and sound!

  • Get those lights on!
  • This becomes increasingly important as the day goes on, since the sun is bound to set for a good amount of time. It may seem basic, but turning your headlights on makes your driving experience easier, and allows those around you to better see you.

  • Pull-over
  • If you're not suitable to drive, or the roads aren't – pull over. It doesn't make you a better driver staying on the road amid poor conditions, so pull over and find a place with shelter like a gas-station, restaurant or hotel to either wait out the poor weather, or simply pull into a place so you can wait and rest.

Now, You're Prepared!

Rain, sleet, snow? You’re good to go! You may even have some things you have in your car during these colder months – so let us know what you keep in yours over on our YouTube channel! But now that not only you, but also your car are ready - you are all geared-up to hit the road and drive, rest assured!