Driving in Snow: Tips for a Safer Commute

winter driving e1483897765109 a


Besides the wonderful holiday season, for those of us who remained in town, last winter is reminiscent of the following: vehicles slipping and sliding on the streets, blockages on the road, shortage of road salt, and fines for homeowners that failed to clear the sidewalks in front of their homes. Conditions were harsh enough that the City of Vancouver is now considering making winter tires a requirement for driving on snowy roads for all vehicles, starting with Coast Mountain buses, emergency vehicles and car shares.

This year, now that we know better, we can better prepare ourselves! Here are some tips for a safer drive around town:


Prepare your vehicle, aka winterize it: 

1)     Switch to winter tires. Although not mandatory yet, winter tires provide greater traction in snowy and icy conditions.

2)     While you’re at the shop getting your tires changed, also ask to have your fluids, defoggers, and brakes checked. If your winter tires are used, have a mechanic check their treads and tire pressure, and that they are properly inflated.

3)     Keep your gas tank full, or at least half full, to avoid gas line freeze up.

4)     Purchase necessary materials to keep in your car: snow brush, small snow shovel, de-icer spray, battery jumper cables, flashlights, and first-aid kit.  


Before driving: 

1)     Check the weather report.

2)     Warm up your car OUTSIDE of an enclosed space. If you park your car in a garage overnight, move your car outside before warming it up.

3)     Ensure that all your mirrors, windows, and top of the vehicle are free of snow. To remove snow from any of these parts, use your snow brush.

4)     Put your seat belt on! This one is a no-brainer, and also mandatory for good reason.

5)     Be honest with yourself. If you’re feeling fatigued, do NOT drive. 


While driving: 


1)     Drive slowly and don’t tailgate. You will need the extra space when braking for a red light or a stop sign.

2)     Brake slowly and smoothly before making a turn and only accelerate once you’ve rounded the corner.

3)     Always pay attention to what’s going on around you on the road. This one also goes without saying.


1)     Don’t make any abrupt turns or stops.

2)     Don’t use cruise control as you will need to maintain control of acceleration and deceleration at all times.

3)     If your vehicle is equipped with an anti-locking braking system (ABS) (all cars sold in Canada starting 2012 should have it) don’t pump the brakes in case of an emergency stop. Apply firm and constant pressure on the brakes until the vehicle stops.


In case of skidding:

1)     Keeping both your hands on the wheel, take your feet off the pedals. Ease off the accelerator and do not brake.

2)     Turn the wheel in the direction you want to go without being too abrupt. Refer to image below.

3)     Then steer in the opposite direction to stop the turning and to keep on the desired direction. Refer to image below.

4)     You might have to repeat steps 2 and 3 until you’ve regained control. 


screen shot 2017 10 24 at 12028 pm




Hope these tips prepare you for driving in snowy and icy conditions this winter, although hopefully *knock on wood* we don’t get the same amount of snow as last year! 

Let’s all have a cozy and safe winter!


Rich & Paula



Stay tuned for monthly blogs!

Questions about Real Estate? Contact Richard at hello@richardbao.ca 












*Images taken from Google*