It’s coming slowly, but winter in Ottawa will eventually be upon us, and with it will come snow and ice. More than ever, careful driving will be of absolute importance, for two main reasons. The first, of course, is your safety, and the safety of your passengers, be they friends or family. The second is liability-should the worst happen, and of course we all hope it doesn’t, you may need to call upon an Ottawa car accident lawyer to help you demonstrate that you did your best to mitigate the risks of winter driving. Responsible driving starts with being prepared, so we’ve gathered some of the best winter road safety tips here for your convenience.
Prepare Your Car
We can’t stress this enough-your vehicle should be in optimal condition when the snow begins to fall. A well-maintained vehicle reduces the risk of collisions, especially in tricky conditions. Check that your brakes, battery, ignition, lights, exhaust, windshield wipers, and especially your internal heating are all working properly, and repair, adjust, tune-up, or replace where necessary. In extreme cold, even without snow or ice, you should use snow tires, since traditional tires have difficulty maintaining traction in below-freezing temperatures.
Pack a Survival Kit
Being prepared for every eventuality is important to your road safety. Your car should never be without booster cables, a snow brush/ice scraper, a snow shove, a working cell phone, a first aid kit, and snacks and water. It’s also helpful to carry spare gloves, scarves, sweaters, and blankets.
Check Weather Conditions
Before you leave your home, Ottawa car accident lawyers recommend that you check on the weather conditions in the areas you plan to be driving, and plan accordingly. You can get quick updates about weather conditions by calling 511, the Ontario Ministry of Transportation information line-just don’t call while you’re behind the wheel unless you have a hands-free option!
For obvious reasons, you should never drive when suffering fatigue or exhaustion. Tiredness makes you less attentive, and attentiveness in snowy or icy conditions could make a world of difference. You should also practice incredibly careful driving. Watch how you turn, how you brake, how much space you leave between your vehicle and others, and make sure not to accelerate too hard.
In Case of Emergency
Always call emergency services as soon as possible, and especially before you worry about contacting your Ottawa car accident lawyer. If you’re stranded, turn on your flashing lights and make yourself visible. If outside conditions are extremely cold, then stay inside your vehicle until help arrives.