ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Winter Driving Safety - Tips to Keep You on the Road

Updated on September 4, 2015

It's Official

Yesterday I watched as the first flakes of snow descended on the Lower Mainland. This morning I opened the blinds to a pristine winter wonderland.

I can already hear the squeals of delight from the neighbourhood children, and the groans of despair from their parents as they scrape the snow and ice from their car windshields! Everywhere around the Lower Mainland you can hear the unmistakable sound of metal crumpling as unprepared drivers wreak havoc on the highways and intersections of our streets.

Every winter, hundreds of unprepared or unskilled drivers across the country, take theirs and others lives in their hands when they get behind the wheel.

The video below shows drivers practicing their lessons


Quite a few winter fender-benders can be avoided with driver training for winter weather conditions. There are a number of winter driving schools across the country (and in the States) that teach defensive driving - a must, if you want to stay safe on winter roads.

For the more advanced drivers there are advanced driving schools, and for those people who prefer to use their computer to learn, there is even an online driving school! Although I'm not sure I would want to learn driving skills behind the wheel of my computer...

Check your area for a local driving school - I was surprised how many were available for the Vancouver and outlying districts. I think more Vancouver drivers should take courses on winter driving, and I'm sure a lot of other drivers would agree with me.

Trust me, as soon as the first snowflakes hit the road, too many lower mainland drivers freeze up. Whether it is a case of too much information, or not enough, the fender-benders that ensue keep the local body shops hopping.


Tips to keep you on the road

  • Check your wiper blades to make sure they work properly. Winter blades or snow blades effective alternative to conventional ones.
  • Make sure to top up your anti-freeze - if you are unsure what to use, check with your mechanic
  • Make sure your tires are properly inflated - over or under inflation will cause improper road surface grip
  • Use a proper set of snow tires. They have a softer grip as opposed to all season tires, making them the better choice for cold, winter conditions.
  • Keep your gas tank half-full to full. This adds weight and helps reduce moisture problems with your fuel system.
  • Keep the snow and ice on the outside of the vehicle. Too much build up of snow on your boots can cause the windows to fog up as it melts.
  • Clean the ice and snow off all the windows of the vehicle, including the rear view mirrors, headlights and brake lights. You need the best visibility you can get in winter conditions.
  • Always wear your seat belts!
  • Adjust your headrests - yes you heard me correctly! Rear-end collisions are common in winter driving conditions and a properly adjusted headrest can prevent or diminish neck injuries.
  • Turn the radio down - I understand it can provide helpful information about traffic and accidents, but it can be a distraction when driving in bad conditions.
  • Don't, I repeat - Don't use your cell phone. Even if you have a blue-tooth or hands-free, you need to concentrate on the road when driving in icy conditions, not on a telephone conversation.
  • Carry some emergency equipment in your car in case you get stuck. A simple blanket and food bars, something for the kids (if you have any) can go a long way to making you comfortable while waiting for assistance.

More tips

  • Don't make any long distance drives at night if at all possible. Visibility is better during the day, and if you become stranded you are more likely to quicker assistance than you would at night.
  • Drive for the conditions! Reduce your speed for better handling and quicker response time. Speed limit signs show maximum speed for ideal conditions only! You can still get a speeding ticket for driving the posted speed in poor conditions!
  • Think! Be aware of other drivers. One second can make the difference between an accident and a safe journey. If someone is too close behind you, slow down and let them go around you - don't be forced to speed up.
  • Don't brake on a corner (unless forced to.) Use your brakes before entering the corner, and don't accelerate until you are out of the corner. Intersections can get very icy, so try and stay out of the middle of the road (where everyone else has traveled.) Usually, there is better traction along the edges, but you still need to be alert.
  • Maintain a comfortable (not hot) driving temperature - keep your window cracked to allow a constant flow of cool air. This will help keep you alert and the windows from fogging up.
  • Drive with your lights on when visibility is less than ideal. When driving at night, use your low beam if it is foggy or snowing to reduce glare and eye fatigue.
  • Apply a smooth, even pressure for braking. If you have ABS (Allows you to Brake and Steer) you can use firm pressure in an emergency. Never count on technology to replace good judgment!
  • Keep both hands on the wheel! Use a shuffle technique to turn instead of hand over hand.
  • If you are driving up a steep hill, gain momentum before starting the climb. Allow the car to slow as you climb, keeping a consistent pressure on the gas pedal. Avoid trying to speed up while climbing as this can cause the car's wheels to spin out. It is better to make it to the top at a slower speed than to be stuck half way up!
  • If you become stuck or stranded, only run the engine briefly - not continuously - to maintain heat inside the car. Make sure the tail pipe is clear of snow or debris to avoid carbon monoxide build up.

Items to keep in your car

This is a list of items you should carry in your vehicle. These could mean the difference between life and death in an emergency situation.

  • blanket,
  • candle with matches/lighter,
  • snacks, water/juice,
  • flares,
  • cell phone/hand radio,
  • jumper cables,
  • small shovel,
  • kitty litter (for traction)
  • flashlight,
  • window scraper,
  • a tow rope.

Many drivers are simply not equipped for driving in hazardous conditions. You should carry an emergency kit at all times - it never hurts to be prepared.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Enelle Lamb profile imageAUTHOR

      Enelle Lamb 

      4 years ago from Canada's 'California'

      Sounds like here! Lol. People

      see flakes and run for cover

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Good articles will create the citation on my blog.

      Winter is coming.

    • Enelle Lamb profile imageAUTHOR

      Enelle Lamb 

      7 years ago from Canada's 'California'

      Good idea! It's always good to be prepared - especially in our neck of the woods LOL...

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      In Seattle, it's amazing how many people refuse to go out on the road when it snows. I think there is all of two city snowplows to clear the streets. Before going out in the snow, I read the "Driving in Bad Weather" articles on Premier Law Group's website to make sure I was doing everything right.

    • Enelle Lamb profile imageAUTHOR

      Enelle Lamb 

      7 years ago from Canada's 'California'

      WhatEllenKnows - I totally get what you are saying - you should see the drivers down here! Mind you, in all fairness, I would rather drive in 80" of snow than 1" LOL...

    • WhatEllenKnows profile image


      7 years ago

      I love it how some people have no idea about the snow--like the southern states close when there is one inch. We have gotten about 75-80 inches where we live so far this winter!

    • Enelle Lamb profile imageAUTHOR

      Enelle Lamb 

      7 years ago from Canada's 'California'

      Yes, I thought it would have been overkill for me to mention it, as I figured most people would already know that, but better safe than sorry. Thanks for commenting GoInstructor!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      It kind of goes without saying but don't drink and drive over the festive period. There is always a massive rise in the number of drink driving incidents and coupled with the bad weather it makes for danger on the roads!

    • Enelle Lamb profile imageAUTHOR

      Enelle Lamb 

      8 years ago from Canada's 'California'

      LOL @ RedElf! You actually trust me behind the wheel?? Actually, I learned how to drive in the snow before I took my road test...I never forgot those lessons, and I've only been stuck once!

    • RedElf profile image


      8 years ago from Canada

      Another timely hub, Enelle. Sounds like you certainly know what to watch out for - I'll hire you to drive me around next time I'm on the coast during the winter. :D:D


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)