National Driver Safety Week starts in Canada

Published: November 30, 2015

Updated: July 24, 2018

Author: Luke Jones

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December is here and the snow is now beginning to settle on the roads and highways of Ontario and across the country. Canada is home to among the harshest winter’s on the planet with weather routinely dangerous and covering a wide range of wintery conditions such as blizzards, hail, deep snow drifts, ice, slush, and more.

It is timely then that National Safe Driving Week is about to start in Canada, running from December 1 to 7 and organized by The Canada Safety Council. With winter quickly descending, it is perhaps time to readdress your driving routine, whether that be how you plan trips or how you actually conduct yourself on the road.

One preventative driving measure has garnered a lot of traction this year, even though it is a staple of Canadian winter driving for decades, the winter tire. The Ontarian government has issued a winter tire initiative that automatically discounts a driver’s auto insurance if they have winter tires installed from January 1st, 2016. While this program has proved controversial because critics say the government is merely glossing over its failed attempts to lower auto insurance rates, winter tires are almost essential.

In many parts of Ontario and across Canada as a whole, winter tires really can provide a huge difference in the driving experience through harsh weather conditions. Equipping your car with tires designed to operate in poor conditions can make a big difference as winter tires can shorten braking distances and times by as much as 25 per cent and will also improve the handling of your vehicle in snowy or icy conditions.

With National Safe Driving Week about to get underway, the Canada Safety Council has some basic tips to help drivers stay safe on the road this cold season.

Check lights – Night falls quickly in the winter, while blizzards can cause obscured driving conditions at any time of the day and on any road. Before the cold season takes hold, check all the external lights on your car and replace any bulbs or electronics that may not be working.

Brakes – winter tires do a lot to reduce stopping distances in inclement weather, but if the brakes on your car are worn then the winter tire becomes redundant as a stopping aid. If there is anything untoward (squeaking, pulling, grinding) in your brake performance then get them serviced by a professional.

Battery – Not only is a flat battery annoying, it can put your in serious danger if you are stranded in conditions that can easily kill even if you have shelter in your vehicle. Know that in cold conditions a battery can deplete quicker, so ensure that you have a well working battery installed.