Treacherous Winter Travel: How to Stay Safe on the Road

It’s no surprise that winter can produce some of the most treacherous travel conditions. Snow and ice on the roadways, the sun setting at early hours and the toll the weather takes on our cars all add up to create less than desirable driving circumstances.

Before heading out on your next excursion this winter, here are a few tips for a safe travel experience:

Always Keep Your Gas Tank at Least Half Full

Don’t try and run your fuel gauge to the edge of empty, especially when temperatures drop. Condensation can form on the inside of your gas tank and freeze, blocking the pathway from the gas to the engine.

Replace Your Wiper Blades and Washer Fluid

If you’re having trouble clearing away frozen buildup on your windshield, it’s probably time for a new pair of windshield wiper blades. The last thing you want on a dark, snowy night is the inability to see the road ahead of you. Don’t let cracked wiper blades be the cause! And a full tank of washer fluid will help your wipers perform at their very best, further removing anything left on your windshield.

Slow Down

Slippery snow and ice make it much more difficult for your car to slow down, so take a little longer when hitting the breaks (in fact, if possible, don’t hit them at all, but simply remove your foot from the accelerator).  If you must brake, brake slowly, gently and with care. Also, slow down while you’re speeding up. Accelerating at a slower rate gives your tires more traction and helps avoid a loss of control. It’s also advised to put some more space (more than you would in the warmer months) between you and the car in front of you, in case you need to stop unexpectedly and are also dealing with potentially slippery roads.

Pack a Bag

Put a few extra things in your trunk just in case you happen to get stuck or stranded.  Items such as gloves, an extra jacket, some warm pairs of socks (nothing is worse when wet) and a blanket are helpful and useful in the cold. It’s also a good idea to keep a flashlight with extra batteries, jumper cables, an ice scraper and kitty litter (it doubles as a de-icing agent, gives you some traction on roads and it’s more eco-friendly than salt. Find out why here).

Stay safe and warm in the cold months ahead, and as always, stay connected with the Just Energy blog for information, tips and ideas all winter-long. Make sure to like Just Energy on Facebook and follow us on Twitter!

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