EDMONTON, Oct. 1, 2012 /CNW/ - October is Car Safety Month and Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) reminds Albertans there are things you can do now to ensure you and your vehicle are ready for winter weather.
"Alberta winters can be challenging for drivers," says Heather Mack, Director of Alberta Government Relations with IBC. "Planning ahead and taking the time to make sure you know what to do when driving in winter conditions and ensuring your vehicle is mechanically sound before the temperature dips could save your life," adds Mack.
Here are some tips that will help drivers avoid the dangers of winter driving:
- Slow down. Be prepared for changing conditions and don't use cruise control.
- Maintain tire traction by accelerating gently, turning gradually and easing on the brakes when slowing down. Four-wheel drive won't help you stop faster or stop you from skidding.
- Don't make life easy for car thieves. Do not leave your car idling and unattended. Install a block heater or remote start to warm your engine.
- Tune-up your car by getting a complete checkup in the fall. Your tune-up should include battery, belts, hoses, radiator, coolant/antifreeze, oil, lights, brakes, exhaust system, heater/defroster, wipers, ignition system and tires.
- Check the tires and tire pressure at least once a month when the tires are cold. (See tire pressure information sheet.) Contrary to popular belief, lower pressure will not improve tire traction.
- See the road clearly. Completely remove ice and snow from your windows and ensure that your windshield is free of dings and cracks. Cold temperatures can turn a small ding in your windshield into a major crack.
- Keep the gas tank at least half full, decreasing the chances of moisture forming in the gas lines and possibly freezing.
- Check to see that lights work and headlights are properly aimed. Remove all snow and ice from your headlights before driving.
- Keep a Winter Survival Kit in the trunk or your vehicle. Consider having a citizens band radio if you do a lot of winter driving in isolated regions. *9-1-1 is a free call to police and ambulance on your cellphone.
- Check the weather and road conditions before you head out the door. The Alberta Motor Association provides free road condition reports on their website and at 1-877-AMA-HWYS (1-877-262-4997). If you must drive in bad weather, think caution, plan ahead and make sure you have enough fuel. (See winter driving tips).
(Resource: IBC and carcarecanada.ca)
About Insurance Bureau of Canada
Insurance Bureau of Canada is the national industry association representing Canada's private home, car and business insurers. Its member companies represent 90% of the property and casualty (P&C) insurance market in Canada. The P&C insurance industry employs over 114,000 Canadians, pays more than $7 billion in taxes to the federal, provincial and municipal governments, and has a total premium base of $40 billion.
SOURCE: INSURANCE BUREAU OF CANADA
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