Yes, I know! It’s THAT time of the year again. When we put our summer clothes into storage and we stow away the patio furniture into the shed. It’s sad right? Well, get over it, because winter is coming whether you like it or not.
So what does this mean for our Saskatchewan road users? Well, you guessed it.. Snow, black ice, hazardous road conditions and a whole lot of accidents.
What can we do to help make driving in the winter that little safer? Here are some great tips on how to prepare yourselves and vehicle for the impending winter months to come.
1.) Make sure you install winter tires. This would seem the most obvious, however poor tire choice is a major contributing factor in causing accidents throughout Saskatchewan. Be sure to look out for the mountain/snowflake winter tire symbol (any tires with less than 3.5mm of tread need to be replaced also)
If you already have tires on the vehicle marked with the M+S (Mud and Snow) these are legally acceptable however they aren’t as effective as the mountain snowflake tires as mentioned above.
Also, check for tire pressure regularly during the winter months, as this will slowly decrease the colder it gets.
2.) This may sound obvious, but before setting out on your commute to work (or wherever you are travelling) clear all the snow and ice from windows, lights, hood and roof. Start your vehicle a good 15/20 minutes to allow the windows to defrost (not only that, who likes getting into a freezing cold vehicle in the mornings!) so you have maximum visibility when heading out.
3.) Pack a winter survival kit in the trunk. This could ultimately save your life if you are unfortunate to land in a ditch and becoming snowed in. You can pick one up for as little as $59.99 or you can make one yourself.
4.) Don’t let your fuel run low. The benefits of keeping your gas tank topped up are to help with preventing most air and condensation freezing inside the fuel lines and tank. It’s also a good idea to have a Jerry Can full in the drunk also just in case you run out of fuel.
5.) Go for a winter maintenance checkup. This will highlight if you need to have any work done to prevent any unforeseen mishaps when you are out on the roads.
6.) Make sure your cellphone is fully charged before you set out. As with the Winter Survival Kit, this device could be the key in saving your life. Purchase a cigarette lighter charger and don’t leave your cellphone in the vehicle for prolonged periods of time as the battery freezes.
7.) Finally, if you do get into trouble, don’t panic and over exert yourself trying to dig your way out. Also try to avoid over exposure in the cold weather. Call for help or use your survival kit and wait for help to arrive.
Hope this helps.