Winter Driving Tips
Driving in Northwestern Ontario, in the middle of January, is no easy feat. There’s plenty of obstacles to navigate, potentially dangerous situations, and don’t forget the extra 10-30 minutes it takes to reach your destination. If this weather drives you crazy, you’re not alone. Here are some winter driving tips to get you through the winter!
Plug It In
Plugging your car in for 3-4 hours each night keeps your engine half-warmed. According to CAA, this reduces fuel consumption by an average of 15 per cent over the first 20 kilometres driven (after which, the engine will be fully warm). The CAA also estimates that for every 100,000 drivers who plug in their vehicles only once in winter, 50,000 litres of fuel — that’s a full tanker’s worth — is saved. Not to mention, your interior heats up twice as fast when it’s been plugged in!
No Hot Water
Do not throw hot water on your frozen car to defrost it. Yes, it melts the ice but that water will just freeze in its place and you’ll be back where you started. Instead, patience is key (and this is where that extra 30 minutes of travel time comes into play). Chip away lightly with your car scraper, blast that heat, and try parking in a spot that faces the sunrise if possible. We hear spraying rubbing alcohol on your windshield can also work wonders.
Defrost and De-Snow
Although it might be annoying and take longer to clear off than you anticipated, driving with an icy or snowy car can put yourself and others in danger. If the snow or ice hits another car’s windshield and the driver of that car gets in a crash, you could be found responsible, and your insurance and driving record could take a hit. Section 74 of the Highway Traffic Act says you have to be able to see clearly out of your front, front side and rear windows. The fine is $85 plus a $25 surcharge, but it’s up to police to decide what “clearly” means.
Point is: keep your car clear of ice and snow even if it makes you a little late for work. Your employer will be happy you made it safely.
Keep your gas tank AT LEAST half full, or half empty depending on how you look at it, to have sufficient weight to keep your vehicle “grounded” and not sliding around on the slippery roads. Additionally, if you happen to break down you’ll need that gas to stay warm until help arrives. Breaking down in the winter isn’t as simple as it is in the dog days of summer.
Did we miss anything? Let us know! Happy driving!