We’ve been hearing about this Ottawa snow storm for days. Later this afternoon, Ottawa is expected to get yet another snowstorm, which will then be followed by freezing rain. This will likely in turn wreak havoc over our city. Hopefully the storm will hit later on in the day , once the kids are home safe from school and most commuters have made their way home. If you are able to stay off the roads, our Ottawa personal injury lawyers highly suggest you do so.
The key to driving in a snowstorm is to be alert and anticipate what is coming your way. Not only do good drivers have their eyes on the road, they have them on the vehicles and pedestrians ahead of them and all around them. This is difficult to do and requires much concentration. It is best to keep distractions such as music and movies to a minimum when driving in more difficult situations such as a snow storm or freezing rain.
Braking in an Ottawa snow storm
Ensure your brakes are in tip top shape and allow yourself extra distance for braking , especially once the freezing rain hits. People are surprised by how even when a vehicle is moving slowly , they try to brake and skid into the car in front of them. The impact of these types of accidents might not seem severe; however sometimes the resulting injuries are. We have clients who suffer so severely from whiplash, they are unable to return to work or live as they once knew it.
Heating and Cooling systems in an Ottawa snow storm
Ensure that your defrost and heat are working to maximum capacity. You will rely heavily on your defrost for visibility during a snow storm.
Windshield wipers during an Ottawa snow storm
It is important that you have proper functioning windshield wipers during a snow storm or when it is freezing rain. Replace wipers that are loose, leaving patches where you can’t see or if they are worn in any way. Also make sure your washing fluid contains antifreeze and is topped up. You would be surprised at how much washing fluid is required during a snow storm.
Tires during an Ottawa snow storm
Although it is not law in Ontario, snow tires are a must. Having snow tires on your vehicle will give you a discount with your insurance company and will give you that extra bit of traction that is needed during a snowstorm or when driving in freezing rain. Don’t forget to continuously check your tire pressure. Tire pressure can drop approximately 1 psi for every 5°C (9°F) drop in temperature.
Exhaust systems during an Ottawa snow storm
There have been a few tragic fatality cases in the news lately of people innocently cleaning off their cars when their exhaust pipe was blocked with snow. Make sure your exhaust pipe clear is clear of snow. A blocked exhaust pipe can force carbon monoxide back into the interior of your vehicle. You cannot smell or detect carbon monoxide and may be putting yourself and your loved ones in a dangerous situation.
Fuel during an Ottawa snow storm
It goes without saying that you do not want to run our of gas. As a rule of thumb, try to have you 1/4 tank mark be your signal to refuel. Highway driving can be tricky and often times it is unknown where and how far the next gas station is. Running out of gas during a snow storm can be very dangerous , as your car may be your only source of heat. without gas, your car won’t run. Without heat, you may be in danger.
With proper planning and a focus on safe driving, you can reduce your chances of being involved in an Ottawa accident. Our Ottawa personal injury lawyers wish everyone a safe journey today. Please take your time and arrive safely.