October 1, 2012 (Toronto) – October is Car Safety Month and Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) reminds Canadians there are things you can do now to ensure you and your vehicle are ready for winter weather.
“Canadian winters can be challenging for drivers,” says Ralph Palumbo, Vice President, Ontario 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 Palumbo.
Here are some tips that will help drivers avoid the dangers of winter driving:
- 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.)
- 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. The end of Daylight Savings Time in the fall results in earlier nightfall and more nighttime driving.
- Keep a winter survival kit in the trunk or your vehicle.
- Heed warnings from local weather offices of Environment Canada of impending blizzards, heavy snow, freezing rain or drizzle, cold waves and winds, and black ice.
- On the road, if you must drive in bad weather, think caution, plan ahead, and make sure you have enough fuel. (See winter driving tips.)
- Always keep a road map, flashlight, first-aid kit, and blanket in your vehicle.
- Consider 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.
(Resources: 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. To view media releases and information, visit the media section of IBC’s website at www.ibc.ca and for IBC on Twitter follow @insurancebureau.