CAA provides key advice for winter weather driving

File photo courtesy of © Can Stock Photo / trendobjects

A slick morning commute may be the reminder motorists need to prepare for the winter months.

South Central Ontario CAA Director of Communications Kaitlynn Furse said there are steps motorists can take in order to avoid a slippery situation.

“Certainly stay on those main roads. They’re going to be better plowed, for example, than some of the back roads. You always want to keep a phone charger in your car so that you can call for help if you do run into an unexpected situation,” she said. “Another big one is to avoid using cruise control, as tempting as it might be because you want to have as much focus and control of your vehicle as possible.”

Should a collision occur, Furse said drivers should not be afraid to call for assistance.

“You do have to call the police if you’re in a collision to make sure that they can come and assess the scene,” said Furse. “Typically, it’s just damages with a certain amount but these days with vehicles being what they are, with lots of computer systems, it’s very easy to get up to $2,000 in damage just with a fender bender.”

She said one of the most important things drivers should keep in their vehicle is an emergency kit, which can include a small shovel, a flashlight, a first aid kit, and a blanket.

Although motorists should adjust their driving habits during winter weather events, Furse said it’s also important to account for cold days in general over the next few months.

“The winter weather months are definitely busy months for us especially related to cold weather so we get a lot of calls for battery failures and it’s those really cold days usually where we get the most number of calls,” she said. “People don’t really realize that batteries typically last about three to five years so if you do have a battery that is nearing the end of that, it’s likely going to fail at some point during a cold winter day.”

Furse said vehicle maintenance is very important as 80 per cent of calls made to CAA are related to breakdowns, battery failure, and running out of gas.

OPP were called to several collisions Wednesday morning due to snowy conditions.