Be Prepared — Driver's Seasonal Checklist
Get your vehicle winter-ready with a maintenance check-up. Don't wait for winter to have your battery, belts hoses, radiator, oil, lights, brakes, exhaust system, heater/defroster, wipers, and ignition system checked.
The condition of your vehicle's tires is important. Worn and damaged tires can hamper your ability to drive safely. Have them checked or replaced before winter begins. Remember to check tire air pressure frequently, as it decreases in colder weather.
Regular or "all-season" tires, including wide and high-performance tires, may be adequate most of the season, they may not be suitable for driving in the extreme snow or if you are traveling north, consider using winter tires. They improve driving safety by providing better traction and handling through snow, slush, and on ice. Installing four winter tires provides greater control and stability. Never mix tires of different tread, size and construction.
Check weather and travel conditions before heading out. Don't take chances if the weather is bad. Allow yourself extra time for travel, or wait until conditions improve. See our links page for the Department of Transportation's information number on road conditions.
If you are traveling a long distance, plan your route ahead of time. Let someone know of your destination and expected time of arrival.
Wear comfortable clothing that doesn’t restrict your movement while at the wheel. Keep warm clothing for getting out of your vehicle.
Clear snow and ice from all windows, lights, mirrors, and the roof. After starting your vehicle, wait for the fog to clear from the interior of the windows so you will have good visibility all around.
Make sure your vehicle is mechanically ready for the rigours of winter and keep your gas tank sufficiently full — at least a half of a tank is recommended.
Make sure you have sufficient windshield washer fluid in the reservoir and that it is rated in the -40°C temperature range. Keep an extra jug in the vehicle.
If you are in an area with cell phone service and have a cell phone, use it only when necessary. When you need help, pull well off of the road to make or receive a call. Remember, dialing *611 will connect you emergency services.