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The Importance of Defensive Driving in Winter

On the slippery roads across Ontario this winter, it’s more important than ever for drivers to understand defensive driving techniques. The decreased reaction time caused by low visibility in snow and the lack of control caused by icy roads can affect even the most skilled driver. And so it’s imperative that drivers adapt the latest driving techniques into their winter-time travel. Here, we’ll look at the importance of several defensive driving techniques during winter.


Maintaining a Safe Distance

On the average summer day, maintaining a safe distance behind the car in front of them is important for all drivers. But during wintertime, it’s a technique that can help save their life and prevent injuries to others on the road. It’s important to keep a distance of at least two car lengths away from the vehicle in front to ensure optimal stopping distance in icy conditions. Studies show that required stopping distances can be ten times greater on icy roads than on dry roads.


Planning All Driving Actions 

It’s important for drivers to maintain their control and plan ahead for all on the road incidents during wintertime. For example, turns should be negotiated by indicating, braking smoothly and then accelerating smoothly out of the turn. Drivers should remember that quick movements can take the car out of their control, especially when brakes are slammed at the last minute going into a turn. By remaining calm and focussed, drivers can avoid most wintertime road issues.


Being Responsive to Other Drivers

Defensive driving requires responsive action on behalf of wintertime drivers. It’s important to maintain clear visibility into how others are driving on the road. Because of the mitigating factors of winter driving, it’s even more important than ever to frequently check blind spots and rear-view mirrors for other vehicles. Drivers who don’t take this precaution may find they have no time to react to surprise movement from others on the road.


Effective defensive driving can keep and your vehicle occupants safe this winter. Make sure you research the latest defensive driving techniques and contact our in-house experts with any vehicle safety questions.


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