Some tips to adapt your driving to winter
For immigrants, living in a new country represents a process of constant adaptation, from the simple tasks to the most complex day-to-day activities and decisions. One of those routinely tasks is winter driving.
Fortunately, the Société de l’assurance automobile Québec (the SAAQ, the same instance where you process your driver license), made a very specific guide on how to adapt your driving to winter conditions.
The first thing you need to remember is that, according to Quebec laws, winter tires are mandatory from December 15 until March 15, which means that drivers will have a deadline to change their tires. Many prefer to do it in advance and thus be ready for any early snowfall that could surprise us in November – sometimes even October. Those who do not have winter tires after December 15 face a fine of between $200 and $300, plus additional costs.
Why are winter tires safer?
When the temperature drops below 7° C, or when there is ice or snow on the roads, the rubber of the summer tires hardens and loses traction. The rubber of winter tires is designed to guarantee better traction, as they meet the flexibility criteria applicable to temperatures up to -40 ° C.
It is important to check the date of manufacture of the tires when you buy them. Bands on old tires tend to be less effective on ice and snow.
Not fast and furious, please
The Highway Safety Code requires drivers to reduce speed when visibility is reduced by fog, rain or snow, and when the roads may be slippery or have not been completely cleaned. Those who do not comply with these precepts face fines of up to $ 60 and a two demerit points in their driving licenses.
Another way to be cautious during snowfall days is to plan your schedule. You can check several weather applications to see the weather conditions. Leaving home minutes in advance can also help you, so you will have extra time for any eventuality.
Some driving schools offer courses on how to drive when there is ice or snow on the roads, so people can gain more confidence to drive during winter.
Keep away from vehicles that remove snow
Snow accumulation also means that there will be more shovels and special vehicles on our neighborhood. The SAAQ’s recommendation for drivers is to maintain a safe distance with these vehicles, considering that they have numerous blind spots that make visibility difficult.
Keeping the distance also applies to other vehicles you share the road with. This will allow you to have a range of maneuver under unforeseen circumstances such as sudden stop.
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