Winter Storms

Prepare the Vehicle:

  • Get a complete tune-up in the fall.
  • Check your tire pressure at least once a month to ensure that tires are properly inflated.
  • Have your exhaust system carefully checked for leaks that could send carbon monoxide into your vehicle.
  • Check your radiator and hoses for cracks and leaks. Make sure the radiator cap, water pump and thermostat work properly. Test the strength of the anti-freeze and test the functioning of the heater and defroster.
  • Make sure wipers are in good condition, and fill up on winter washer fluid. Carry an extra jug in the vehicle.

If You Must Drive in Bad Weather:

  • Make sure you have enough fuel. Try to keep the tank at least half-full at all times. Give yourself extra time to travel.
  • Clear all snow from the hood, roof, windows and lights. Clear all windows of fog. If visibility becomes poor, find a safe place to pull over.
  • If you are forced to stop at the side of the road, put on your hazard lights to alert other drivers.
  • Plan your route and let someone know your destination and expected time of arrival.
  • Keep to the main roads and drive with caution.
  • Avoid passing another vehicle when weather and road conditions are bad.
  • Wear warm clothing that does not restrict movement.
  • Take a cell phone with you.
  • Make sure you have a vehicle emergency kit in your car at all times.

If You Become Trapped in a Storm or Stuck in a Snow Bank, Don’t Panic:

  • Avoid overexertion and exposure.
  • Stay in your car. You won’t get lost and you’ll have shelter.
  • Keep fresh air in your car. Open a window on the side sheltered from the wind.
  • Run your engine sparingly. Beware of exhaust fumes and the possibility of carbon monoxide.
  • Ensure the tailpipe is not blocked by snow.
  • Set out a warning light or flares.
  • Exercise your limbs – keep moving and don’t fall asleep.
  • Wear a hat, as you can lose up to 60 per cent of your body heat through your head.
  • Keep watch for traffic or searchers.