With temperatures around the province expected to plummet in the coming days and several centimetres of snowfall expected too, CAA Manitoba is reminding motorists to adjust their driving habits to suit conditions and to equip their vehicle with winter tires and an emergency roadside kit.
“Each year when the first big snowfall comes, drivers are caught off guard,” said Liz Peters, CAA public and government affairs manager.
“The best thing drivers can do to be safe in bad driving conditions is to take their foot off the gas and double the distance between their vehicle and the one in front of them.”
In addition to adjusting your driving habits, CAA encourages motorists to consider winter tires.
“Regular all-season tires are the same hardness as a hockey puck when the temperature drops below freezing,” Peters said.
“Winter tires are made of special rubber compounds that improve stopping time not only ice and snow but also cold, dry, wet or slushy driving conditions.”
Peters said to look for the snowflake-on-the-mountain symbol when shopping for winter tires. Only tires carrying this mark are specifically designed to meet snow traction requirements.
Other simple ways to prepare your vehicle for winter include:
• Checking your block heater and inspect all cords to ensure they are not damaged or frayed;
• Testing your battery to make sure it is operating at optimal performance;
• Making sure all fluid levels are adequate and the right ones for the temperature;
• Replacing your windshield wipers if they are not in good working condition,
• Making sure the heater and defroster are working correctly and check the thermostat; and
• Equipping your vehicle with a stocked emergency roadside kit, customized to suit your family.
“An emergency kit is the most important thing you can have in your car throughout the year, but especially in the winter months,” Peters said. “A flashlight, food and waterproof matches are just a few of the essentials that are important to always have in your kit.”
From Nov. 9-17, CAA is offering $10 off deluxe emergency roadside kits to its friends on Facebook. The coupon just has to be printed and redeemed at any CAA Service Centre.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition November 9, 2012