The 8 most common causes of winter car accidents

The 8 most common causes of winter car accidents

Winter can cause a lot of problems for drivers. To get through this winter safely, read up on these 8 causes of accidents and how to avoid them.

1. Speed and braking distance on snowy or icy roads

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), speed is one of the most important factors in car accidents. Adapting your driving habits to winter conditions by reducing your speed will allow you to increase your braking distance and react more quickly to unforeseen events, such as a car in front of you suddenly stopping or turning without signalling. Snow and ice can not only slow down braking, but also complicate it.

2. Inadequate removal of snow

Snow and ice must be removed from the windshield and windows so that the driver has a full range of vision. Purchase a good snow brush to avoid driving in an igloo on wheels! Get up 15 to 30 minutes earlier to warm up your car and have time to remove snow and ice. Otherwise you may be facing a fine. The amount depends on the highway safety code of your province.

3. Inadequate tires

In Quebec, winter tires are mandatory from December 1 to March 15. If you forget to change them, you could be fined. Purchase good quality tires that grip snowy and icy surfaces.

4. Lack of winter windshield wipers and fluid

Choose windshield wipers with a rubber surface that is made for winter conditions. They sweep away snow and ice more efficiently and improve your range of view. Buying windshield fluid that is designed for temperatures below zero will help clear up the windshield more rapidly.

5. Sun reflecting on the snow

The sun can blind drivers both in winter and summer. Snow can reflect up to 80% of UV rays so wearing sunglasses on sunny days will help you see better when driving.

6. Time changes and low light

On the other hand, dim light at the end of the day starting in the fall may surprise drivers. After work, it’s already dark outside. Put your headlights on and be even more careful when driving.

7. Extreme weather conditions

A snow storm or ice storm can be a problem for driving your vehicle. Adapt your driving, or better yet, avoid non-essential travel. If in doubt, check the Canadian Weather website to find out if a highway has become blocked due to the weather.

8. Inadequate car maintenance

Take advantage of the new season to do general maintenance of your vehicle, such as:

  • Have an oil change done
  • Check the brakes
  • Replace windshield wipers
  • Check the tire pressure
  • Check that the battery is in good condition

You can avoid a lot of worry this winter if you have a well-maintained car.

Did you know?

Many driving schools offer winter driving classes to familiarize drivers with recommended techniques. Contact them to find out the registration dates.

Drive safe!