2016 has been an awful year for automobile-related accidents and deaths. Before we enter another season of snow, sleet and slippery terrain, let’s recap the most important dos and don’ts for winter driving. Keep these in mind and stay safe and accident-free this season:

Winter Driving Car Kit

Cold weather can cause adverse and unexpected effects to your vehicle. Cars break down, engines and heaters fail- the one thing you can do to make sure you’re protected is to store the following items in your vehicle as a safety starting point this season:

  • Fully charged phone with the Pace app (plus a car phone charger)
  • First Aid Kit
  • Blanket and/or sleeping bag
  • Jumper cables
  • Ice-scraper and de-icer
  • flashlight and batteries
  • Snacks (i.e. granola or protein bars)
  • Extra windshield fluid
  • Foam tire sealant

Update your auto insurance

We can’t stress this enough – if you haven’t yet updated your auto insurance coverage, we urge you to call your insurance company as soon as you’re finishing reading this. We’re headed into one of the most dangerous driving seasons and most Canadians have no idea that their auto insurance coverage was reduced drastically after changes earlier this year. How much has it changed? (Look here)

Without extended coverage, default coverage will likely not be enough to protect you or your loved ones if you ever get in a serious accident. Good news, for the cost of a few cups of coffee each month you can boost your coverage to as much as several million dollars. That’s protection you can feel good about.

Invest in winter tires

To stay safe on icy roads, experts recommend installing winter tires before the elements become too challenging- typically when the temperature dips below 7 ° C. Winter tires are crucial to properly grip terrain. To find out if winter tires are law in your province click here.

Don’t drive distracted

The most important thing you can do to stay safe while you drive this winter is to eliminate any distractions and focus on the road. Smartphone apps, texting and social media have all had horrible effects on the number of road accidents. When you’re on your phone, you’re 4 times more likely to get in an accident. It’s safe to say that technology has elevated distracted driving to an epidemic that needs to be solved. The next step legislation will likely take is to ban all communication devices while driving, including the use of Bluetooth. Keep yourself and others safe from tragedy- when you’re behind the wheel, put your phone away in the glove compartment or purse and stay focused.