Winter Driving Tips For Manitoba
Unlike motorists in the lower parts of North America, Canadian drivers must learn to drive in extreme winter conditions. Ice, snow, and several other factors can affect everything from traction to visibility. In Manitoba, winter conditions can change drastically.
Winter driving poses many challenges to you and your vehicle. Cold weather tests the limits of your car’s mechanical abilities. On the other hand, treacherous conditions test your skills as a driver. If you aren’t careful, you might find yourself sliding towards a guard rail, wondering if your affairs are in order.
That is why many drivers consider winter as a season of driving anxiety because they have to navigate on slush, snow, ice and slippery roads. Luckily, today we will provide top 10 winter driving tips for all drivers in Manitoba. These tips will help you stay safe throughout winter.
1. Do not Lock Your Wheels When Braking
Locked wheels can make your car skid or slide. If you own an older car without an ABS (antilock braking system), you may have to apply the brakes gently in a pulsing motion to prevent them from locking up your wheels.
If your car has ABS, just depress the brake pedal firmly and hold it down. You should expect shuddering sounds (do not lift off the brake); the system is performing its job.
2. Install winter tires
You should always install winter tires in sets of four. Studies have revealed that winter tires offer better traction on icy and cold road surfaces. While other kinds of tires harden in freezing temperatures, the rubber compound of the winter tires remains soft, providing cars with the traction needed on the winter roadways.
Once you have installed winter tires, you should check their pressure regularly. High-quality winter tires inflated at their correct (not maximum) air pressure are your greatest defense against slippery slush, snow, and ice.
Check the pressure of your tires every few weeks and every time you are about to head out on a winter road journey. Ensure to check your winter tires when they are cold since pressure will reduce significantly at cooler temperatures.
3. Do Not Panic If You Get Stuck
Motorists in Manitoba should understand that being held up in a snowbank or storm is not the end of the world. The first rule isn’t to panic. Drivers need to avoid becoming overexerted by trying to push their car out of its situation.
Drivers should remain in their vehicles to prevent exposure to the harsh weather elements. Running the motor of the vehicle sparingly is a brilliant idea, but motorists must ensure the exhaust pipe is clear and free of any obstructions including ice and snow. Leaving the window open slightly to allow for the flow of fresh air is essential to keep drivers and the passengers safe. Keep watch for other cars.
4. Check The Road Conditions Before You Head Out
Give yourself with enough time for the winter condition commute. Being under time constraints can cause driving errors when negotiating slippery roads, leading to a potential collision.
5. Keep a Safe Distance
Not every motorist can react to icy or snowy road conditions in a safe manner. Therefore, drivers are highly encouraged to leave sufficient distance to respond to unexpected changes in traffic and even plan for an escape route, in the event of sudden braking by other vehicles or a skidding car.
6. Ensure Your Lights Work Well
Other drivers should be able to see you coming, especially when it’s foggy or snowing. To remain recognizable and safe, turn your headlights on and also push the brakes a couple of times to ensure everything is functioning properly. Also, ensure you brush the snow off your car lights before driving.
7. Perform One Action At A Time When Turning, Braking, And Accelerating
Forcing a car to do two things at once such as accelerating and turning, or braking and turning can lower your control. For instance, when taking a turn on a slippery or icy surface, apply the brakes slowly while the car is moving straight.
8. Clear Off The Ice And Snow Before Driving
If snow or ice has fallen since your vehicle was parked, take the time to brush it off the car -including the roof thoroughly -and scrape any ice from the windows. “Peephole driving” through a small, cleared spot on your windshield lowers your visibility and is extremely dangerous.
9. Reduce Your Speed
If your concern is being late, leave early. Do not drive very fast on icy or snowy roads. Professionals recommend driving at least five miles below the speed limit when the weather is terrible.
Drivers who drive at low speed are much less likely to be involved in a severe car accident. Depending on the length of your journey, high speed may only save you a minute or two, but in winter conditions, they could end up costing your life. Remember the adage; it is better to arrive late than never!
10. Be Prepared
Even if you are a very responsible winter driver, there’s no way to predict the behavior of other drivers or what may occur on the roadways. It’s a brilliant idea to keep warm winter clothing, a flashlight and a blanket in your vehicle during the winter, just in case.
Always ensure you have your cell phone fully charged. If you go off the road or the car breaks down, turn your flashers on, remain in your vehicle and wait for help to arrive.