• Ontario Tire Stewardship

Six Tips to Safer Winter Driving

Don’t wait until your first skid to take precautions. Here are six habits to initiate this winter.

Avatar By: Wheels.ca December 5, 2017

Across Canada, winter weather can strike anytime from Halloween to St. Patrick’s Day, making it important for all drivers – new and seasoned, occasional and commuters – to know how to act when the roads get slick.

Don’t wait until your first skid to take precautions. Here are six habits to initiate this winter.

Invest in winter tires 

When temperatures are at or below 7 degrees Celsius, winter tires provide significantly better traction than all other tires, providing greater control and shorter stopping distances on road surfaces during cold weather. Yet, four-in-ten drivers outside Quebec (winter tires are mandatory in Quebec) still do not own winter tires, according to the Tire and Rubber Association of Canada (TRAC)’s recent study. While cost may be an initial barrier, switching your tires for the winter season will extend the life of your all-season wheels.

Watch for drifts

Clear roads may have you driving smoothly, and at a faster clip too. But, winds can push snow drifts on to otherwise clear roads that can cause dangerous spins to happen quickly. Always stay cautious.

Put a lid on it

Keep your tire valves covered to avoid moisture from freezing. If caps are left off, air can escape resulting in a flat tire.

Air up

Check your tire pressure at least once a month before venturing out on the wintery roads. While tire maintenance is a good practice year-round, it’s especially important when temperatures are low and air pressure is high.

Be prepared

Keep a winter driving kit in your trunk, including hats and mitts, a shovel and even kitty litter for unexpected accidents. Always carry an extra jug of winter windshield washer fluid to ensure visibility on long trips.

Educate young drivers

Is your teen hitting the road? Maybe a young adult in your family bought their first vehicle? Talk to them about these safe winter driving habits and share your years of experience to help make them cautious and confident winter drivers.

Safe winter driving also means knowing when it’s time to retire your tires. It’s recommended to replace winter tires every two to three seasons. When it comes time to switch out the old and make way for the new, drop off used tires free of charge at a registered Ontario Tire Stewardship collector where they are recycled to become innovative products designed for the home, garden and commercial industries. Find a tire collector location near you at rethinktires.ca.

Check out this video to learn more about the lifecycle of your tires and how they can become eco-friendly products.

OTS works with a network of Ontario Stewards, Collectors, Haulers, Processors and innovative Recycled Product Manufacturers to ensure a more sustainable future. Together, the OTS network rethinks tires to create a multi-million-dollar industry and hundreds of new jobs in Ontario, while diverting more than 100 million tires from landfills.