Be Prepared, Be Safe!
Driving and Winter
Stay alert, slow down, and stay in control – the three key elements of safe winter driving. Drive according to highway and weather conditions. Keep a safe distance between you and the vehicle in front of you to avoid situations where you may have to brake suddenly on a slippery surface.
Be Prepared – Driver’s Checklist
Check weather and travel conditions before heading out. Don’t take chances if the weather is bad. Allow yourself extra time for travel, or wait until conditions improve. Visit the ministry’s Traveller’s Road Information at: www.ontario.ca/winterdriving or call the Ministry of Transportation Traveller’s Information number for local highway conditions: 1-800-268-4686.
- If you are travelling a long distance, plan your route ahead of time. Let someone know of your destination and expected time of arrival.
- Wear comfortable clothing that doesn’t restrict your movement while at the wheel. Keep warm clothing for getting out of your vehicle.
- Clear snow and ice from all windows, lights, mirrors, and the roof. After starting your vehicle, wait for the fog to clear from the interior of the windows so you will have a good visibility all around.
- Keep a winter survival kit in your vehicle. Having essential supplies can provide some comfort and safety for you and your passengers should you become stranded.
- Make sure your vehicle is mechanically ready for the rigours of winter and keep your fuel tank sufficiently full- at least half a tank is recommended.
- Make sure you have sufficient windshield washer fluid in the reservoir that is rated a minimum of -40c temperature range. Keep an extra jug in the vehicle.
- If you experience car trouble on an Ontario provincial highway we recommend that you stay in your vehicle to avoid personal injury.
Contact our Parts Department and get the equipment you need to be prepared for winter driving this season!
On the Road
It is critical for drivers to see and be seen in low light conditions, and when blowing snow and white-outs impair visibility. Whenever visibility is poor, turn on the vehicle’s full lighting system.
It takes longer to stop on a slippery road. It’s important to leave plenty of space between you and the vehicle ahead. A guide to safe spacing under normal driving conditions is the two-second rule.
- Pick a marker on the road ahead, such as a road sign or telephone pole.
- When the read of the vehicle ahead passes the marker, count “one thousand and one, one thousand and two”.
- When the front of your vehicle reaches the marker, stop counting. If you reach the marker before you count “one thousand and two” you are following too closely. In winter, and especially during poor weather conditions, double the two-second rule.
Make sure you know how to use your braking system in all weather and road conditions. Consider taking an advanced driving course that teaches emergency driving skills.
If you get stuck or stranded, don’t panic. Stay with your vehicle for safety and warmth. Wait for help to arrive. If you are in an area with cell phone service, call for help.
Be careful if you have to get out of your vehicle when on the shoulder of a busy road. If possible, use the door away from traffic.
If you attempt to free your vehicle form the snow, be careful. Dress warmly, shovel slowly, and do not overexert yourself. Do not attempt to shovel or push your vehicle if you have a medical condition. Body heat is retained when clothing is kept dry. Wet clothing, due to the weather or perspiration, can lead to a dangerous loss of body heat.
We hope that these road-ready and weather-wise tips will help you this winter season! Be sure to contact our Service Department to schedule your next service appointment prior to taking a long journey. Our team of professionals will ensure your vehicle is winter-ready. From all of us at Volkswagen Downtown Toronto remember to stay alert, slow down, and stay in control.