How to Stay Safe on the Roads this Winter

Being alert, conscientious and anticipating the actions of other motorists help in the battle against Mother Nature during any time of year. But in the winter, we need a little extra help and all you need do is look to your vehicle. But there’s a catch, you have to take care of your vehicle first!

Cars, trucks, jeeps and minivans all help us get from point A to point B in and around all parts of the GTA, including Mississauga, Brampton, Georgetown, Toronto, Vaughan and Caledon. However, you’ve got to take care of your vehicle for it to serve you best, especially in inclement weather and poor driving conditions. So how do you go about doing that? Here’s a helpful list of actions you can take to make sure your vehicle is running smoothly and is ready to take on whatever challenging winter driving conditions come your way.

Keep a clean car, inside and out

Road salt and sand are great ways to make for a safer ride on the roads but it does a number on your vehicle. Not only does it create that foggy grey residue all over your car, it can also erode metal parts of your vehicle. Treat your car to a soft foam wash and fresh water rinse to get rid of all that residue and don’t forget to have interior detailing done to remove salt on the inside too.

Rust proof your vehicle

If you’ve never had a rust proofing treatment applied to your vehicle, think of it as a wise investment that prolongs the life of your car, truck or van and also maintains your warranty on the vehicle. Today’s best and most trusted rust proofing treatments include either Diamond Kote or Rust Check. Both are a dripless, gel based solution that gets applied to the undercarriage of vehicles to prevent weather-related damage and can guard the underbelly of your vehicle from rust damage, a very real threat in the wintertime thanks to the salt brine solution sprayed on major roadways everywhere.

Conduct a regular windshield check

With all the rock salt, sand and icy debris flying around on the roads during a storm, you never know what will hit your windscreen and possibly do some damage to it. It’s so important to keep all your windows and side mirrors clear of snow and ice build-up at all times so you can see all angles clearly and doing so will also help you to keep track of any chips that may start to appear on the glass. Since your windshield is a key component to supporting the structure of your vehicle, making sure it’s in perfect condition is worth taking the time to do an inspection after every storm. What may look like a little chip in the windscreen one day could grow into a large crack the next day, especially if there’s been a snowfall – the weight of which could be too much for your compromised windshield to bear. Chips in the windshield are easy and affordable to fix and can be done in as little as 10 minutes. Waiting for it to turn into a crack will mean a full replacement is necessary and that will set you back a couple hundred dollars more and one to two hours of your time. This is definitely one situation when it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Check your lighting situation

With winter’s shorter days and generally overcast weather, lighting is an issue during the day and night. Glare can also be a big problem and all drivers need to do their part to stay on top of any dim or broken tail lights, signal lights and headlights. It’s crucial for other drivers to be able to see you and your signals to stay safe on the roads and vice versa. So be sure to take the time every day to give all exterior lighting areas a quick wipe with a cloth to remove the greyish haze that tends to cover all vehicles this time of year. Your fellow motorists will thank you for it!

Speaking of optimal visibility, it’s worth picking up a new set of wiper blades if you haven’t replaced them already. They last about a year and for the winter specifically, be sure to get a set that doesn’t have a spring component to the design as that can freeze in harsh temperatures and render your wiper blades virtually useless.