Whether you’re new to driving or feel like an old pro, winter brings a number of intimidating hazards. The East Coast has already seen a few storms, and with those our fair share of accidents. Make sure you’re prepared with some of our top tips for winter driving below.

Drive according to the weather.
It might go without saying, but the key to winter driving is to drive for the conditions! Regardless of how confident you feel driving in the snow, the conditions outside and the experience of the other drivers around you are constantly changing. Be ready and aware. Don’t tailgate – ever, but especially not when the roads are slick and wet. You should plan to take a little extra time to get places, and if possible, plan to drive during the daylight hours.

Prepare your vehicle for winter.
Winter tires are a must. Full stop. The reality is Nova Scotian weather shifts from one minute to the next. You don’t want to be skating on used all-seasons when unexpected hail surprises you on the drive home. Keep an emergency kit in your car that includes these following essentials:

  • warm blanket(s)
  • extra layers (especially for your extremities, think, wool socks, gloves/mittens, hats, etc…)
  • first aid kit
  • non-perishable snacks and bottled water
  • ice scraper and a small shovel
  • flashlight
  • battery-pack (for charging your phone, if needed)
  • sand or cat litter (for traction if your tires are slipping).

How to predict black ice.
Black ice is the bane of our winters. Drivers and pedestrians alike have skidded and slipped because of this chameleon-like hazard. It can be tough to spot black ice before it’s too late. Black ice typically forms overnight but can be found in shaded patches – even at noon. Take a look at the road before you get the in the car. If everything is generally dry except for patches, consider those suspicious. If you do hit black ice, treat it like hydroplaning. Remain calm and pass over the ice before steering away from any obstacles.

Despite the best prevention, accidents can still happen. Make sure that you have the insurance coverage right for you and your vehicle. Get in touch with the MacLeod Lorway branch nearest you to learn more about your auto insurance options.