Winter is upon us in the country’s capital. Make sure you have a safe commute by being prepared for the slippery, icy weather ahead.

Winter brings us an abundance of wonderful things; holidays, a fluffy winter wonderland, and lots of chocolates and treats to be had. However, if you have a car, winter also brings an increased risk of a motor vehicle accident. The snowy weather is not only frustrating and adds time to your daily commute, but it can also be very nerve-racking and scary. Whether you’re a first-time winter driver or a winter driving veteran, it doesn’t hurt to brush up on some tips on preventing a motor vehicle accident in the winter.

Winter tires are the key to avoiding a motor vehicle accident

This is probably one of the most crucial steps you can take to protect yourself, your car, and your pockets from a motor vehicle accident. You just bought brand-new all-season tires recently, so you don’t need to get winter tires, right? Wrong. The term ‘all-season’ is very deceptive – they aren’t actually meant for all seasons (or at least not for a harsh Canadian winter). It all comes down to the tread patterns and type of rubber of each type of tire. The only tire with a tread and ideal rubber to effectively grip onto the snow and push away slush is a winter tire.

Unfortunately, tires are expensive. However, the good news is that some car insurance companies may lower your insurance price if you have winter tires on your car. Suppose you get into a motor vehicle accident during the winter, the other vehicle has winter tires, and you don’t. In that case, it’s much easier for you to be at fault – neither you nor your insurance company wants that. Call your insurance company ahead of the winter months to see their conditions and what they can offer you. 

Slow and steady wins the race 

Your car won’t be able to break as quickly in the snow as it does on dry roads. You can become more vulnerable to icy roads, skidding, and losing control of your car if you’re driving too fast. Slow and steady not only wins the race, but it will also get you home safe.

Wipe all of the snow off your car 

We know the last thing you want to do at 7 am before your commute to work is clean a pile of snow off the top of your car. Despite how tedious and unpleasant it may be, get it done. You need as much visibility as possible when you’re driving in the winter. Additionally, large chunks of ice could go flying off your roof and damage another car. Bundle up, and take the extra 15 minutes to clean off your vehicle. It’s only a small inconvenience, but it makes a massive difference in reducing your risk of a motor vehicle accident.

Give yourself some space 

Think ‘social distancing,’ but for cars. Give yourself a bit more distance between the vehicle in front of you when you’re driving. You will have more time to break if they slide or break suddenly.

A winter-related motor vehicle accident isn’t uncommon, but reducing your risks makes it less likely that you’ll experience one

It’s normal to feel anxious about driving in the winter, especially if it’s your first time. Take the time to prepare yourself and brush up on winter driving tips before the winter season arrives. Rushing to get to your destination on snowy, unplowed roads is a recipe for a motor vehicle accident. Adjust your daily schedule a bit to allow yourself more time. Check the weather before you head to bed every night, so you have a good idea of what to expect.

Be safe, take your time, pay attention, and before you know it, the winter will be over. The risk of a winter-related motor vehicle accident will be in your rear-view mirror.

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Daniel Badre Founder, Partner
Daniel Badre is a distinguished personal injury lawyer based in Ottawa, renowned for his unwavering commitment to justice and advocacy for those who have suffered from accidents or negligence. With a legal career spanning over two decades, Badre has established himself as a compassionate and tenacious advocate for his clients.
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