Winter is here and with it the holiday season, which means visiting family in the far-away hometown or just going away somewhere you can let your hair down and see and experience new things. (We may be biased, but we recommend coming to Hamilton or Oakville for a quick visit.) Moreover, if you’ve decided to drive there, then you have a whole other set of problems, especially considering the Canadian winter and all it brings. Very low temperatures, a lot of snow and ice on the road and on vehicles and strong, freezing wind – these are just some of the things to look forward to in winter. We have previously given you a list of tips on safe driving in winter, but they have mostly pertained to city driving conditions. Here is how you can apply all or some of them on long-distance driving.
1) Check the weather
Before going on a long-distance trip or driving in isolated areas, keep an eye on weather reports. Delay all non-emergency trips if you see that bad weather is expected, but if you really must drive just then, inform someone of your destination, the route you plan on taking and the estimated time of arrival.
2) Prepare your car for winter weather
3) Top off the fuel
Never go on a long-distance trip without at least half-full fuel tank – ideally a full one.
4) Keep an emergency kit
Have a go-to emergency bag of supplies and tools in your car in case something happens and you need to call for help or make a quick fix of something on your car – emergency phone numbers, blankets, gloves, hats, food, water and any needed medication in your vehicle.
5) Weather the snow storm inside the car
If you become snow-bound, stay with your vehicle because it will provide you with temporary shelter and make it easier for rescuers to locate you. Don’t try to walk in a severe storm since it’s easy to lose sight of your vehicle in blowing snow and get lost and unreachable.
6) Preserve your strength
Don’t over exert yourself if you try to push or dig your vehicle out of the snow – you never know how much time it will take for the rescuers to find you.
7) Prepare for a distress call
Tie a brightly colored cloth to the antenna or place it at the top of a rolled up window to signal distress. Also, keep the dome light on if possible at night. It only uses a small amount of electricity and will make it easier for rescuers to find you.
8) Keep the exhaust pipe unblocked
Make sure the exhaust pipe on your vehicle isn’t clogged with snow, ice or mud. Always have in mind that a blocked exhaust could cause deadly carbon monoxide gas to leak into the passenger compartment with the engine running.
9) Keep warm
Always keep spare warm clothing in your car, to have something to change into or just put on over what you already have on if necessary. Other than that, you can use whatever is available to insulate your body from the cold – blankets, floor mats, newspapers or paper maps.
10) Don’t keep the engine running
If possible run the engine and heater just long enough to remove the chill – you need to conserve fuel for as long as possible.
CRS Automotive can help you with getting your car ready for driving in winter weather, so don’t hesitate! Come to our repair shops in Hamilton and Oakville today!