Tips for Driving in Snow

In this guide, we delve into essential tips for driving in snow, from pre-vehicle checks to route planning. Equip yourself with the knowledge to tackle Calgary’s winter head-on and drive confidently through the frosty season. Navigating the icy and snowy roads of Calgary during the chilling winter months can be a daunting task for many. With the season bringing its own set of challenges, it’s crucial for drivers to be well-prepared and informed to ensure not only their safety but also that of others on the road. 

1. Pre-vehicle Check:
  • Ensure you have winter-specific tires, designed to provide better traction on snow and ice.
  • Inspect the lights to make sure they function correctly, allowing other vehicles to see you in low visibility.
  • Use the right tools to clear snow and ice from windows, the roof, mirrors, and lights.
  • As temperatures in winter can drop below 0°C, refrain from using regular water or windshield wiper fluid as it can freeze. Instead, use a fluid designed for sub-zero temperatures.
2. Essential Vehicle Tools

Snow brushes, gloves, and sunglasses are indispensable in winter. Snow brushes are mainly used for clearing snow before driving. They have a unique dual design; one side scrapes ice while the other, resembling a brush, sweeps away the snow. Gloves protect your hands from the cold during snow removal. Sunglasses help combat the intense reflection from sunlight on snowy grounds, ensuring clear vision. It’s also wise to have an emergency kit in the car, including a shovel, sand or cat litter, jumper cables, a blanket, and a flashlight for unexpected situations.

3. Drive Slowly

Maintain an appropriate speed when driving on snowy or icy roads and avoid sudden lane changes or abrupt stops.

4. Maintain a Safe Distance

Braking distances can double or more on ice and snow. Ensure you keep a safe distance from the vehicle ahead.

5. Avoid Cruise Control

Using cruise control on snowy surfaces can increase the risk of losing vehicle control.

6. Learn Skid Recovery

If the vehicle begins to skid, avoid slamming the brakes. Instead, gently steer in the desired direction and ease off the accelerator.

7. Plan Your Route

Check the weather forecast and road conditions before setting out. Avoid areas severely affected by the weather and allow extra travel time.

8. Keep the Fuel Tank Full

Never let your fuel tank drop below half to prevent the fuel line from freezing.

Winters in Calgary can be extremely cold and snowy. However, by taking the right precautions, drivers can ensure a safe journey. Avoid rushing, always be mindful of the surrounding road and weather conditions. Safety first! Have a pleasant drive!