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null Driving in Snow for the First Time

Learn how to take control of the roads this winter with these driving in snow for beginner’s tips.

Winter Maintenance Ready

Before driving in winter wonderland, it’s important to make sure your vehicle is equipped to handle snow and icy conditions. In particular, winter tires are quite beneficial to have. They can help you brake sooner, meaning the difference between a safe stop and an accident. Winter tires also provide extra traction and are made up of a special compound that is designed to function in below-zero temperatures. Make sure to test your car battery as it can lose power faster when the temperature drops and have your windshield wipers and car lights in working condition to be able to see through snow flurries and shortage of daylight.

Clear Snow

Before leaving on your big snow adventure, be sure to clear off any snow from the outside of your car. Brush off snow from the windows, roof, hood and trunk. Not only does it help increase visibility, it will also prevent snow falling from your car to someone else’s car. Also, check to see if any snow is covering the tailpipe to prevent carbon monoxide buildup.

Extra Time

When driving in inclement weather conditions, allow yourself some extra time to get to your destination. Poor driving condition can impact your commute. Be prepared to leave a greater following distance between you and other vehicles as well.

Watch your Speed

While driving through snow, it’s better to drive slowly and cautiously. The roads can be slippery and treacherous, especially if they haven’t been plowed. Reducing your speed can help you obtain better control of the vehicle. Avoid speeding up and passing other vehicles during poor weather conditions.

More Time to Brake

Giving yourself more time to brake during winter weather is crucial. Sudden steering and braking could possibly make you lose control of the vehicle or start to skid. Most vehicles are equipped with Anti-lock Brakes system (ABS), but if yours is an older model, you can keep the heel of your foot on the floor and apply firm pressure to the brake pedal.

Emergency Kit

Check to see if your vehicle has a winter emergency kit that is fully stocked. Take a look to see if you have these items:


  • Shovel
  • Windshield scraper
  • Snow brush
  • Perishable food items
  • Water bottles
  • Flashlight
  • First aid kit
  • Flares
  • Matches
  • Blankets
  • Extra clothes
  • Windshield wiper fluid
  • Fuel line antifreeze
  • Booster cables
  • Traction mats
  • Kitty litter
  • Cell phone charger
  • Reflective vest
  • Matches
  • Survival candle

Don’t forget to check the weather forecast before heading out on a long winter drive. Drive slowly and safely!

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Driving in Snow for the First Time

red car covered with snow

Driving in winter weather can be challenging, even for a driver with no prior experience. It can feel overwhelming but it is possible to drive safely in these seasonal conditions.

These tips are provided for information and prevention purposes only. They are general in nature, and Desjardins Insurance cannot be held liable for them. We recommend using caution and consulting an expert for comprehensive, tailored advice.

In Quebec, Desjardins Insurance refers to Desjardins General Insurance Inc. In Ontario and Alberta, Desjardins Insurance refers to Certas Direct Insurance Company, underwriter of automobile and property insurance.

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