CAA North & East Ontario (CAANEO)

CAA North & East Ontario (CAANEO)

November 12, 2013 13:30 ET

Don't Let Safety Preparations Slip This Winter

CAA North & East Ontario Encourages Motorists to Winterize Their Ride

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Nov. 12, 2013) - As the air turns crisp and the scattered flurries become more frequent, it will not be long before residents are digging out from under a layer of ice and snow, reminding everyone that winters in northern and eastern Ontario can be harsh. CAA North & East Ontario (CAANEO) wants to remind motorists not to let the winter weather catch them and their cars by surprise and to prepare for the winter months ahead.

"We want everyone to be safe on the road and that starts with proper preparation of the car and its driver," says Christina Hlusko, President and CEO of CAA North & East Ontario. "We urge all motorists to plan ahead, be prepared and adjust their driving habits according to the winter weather conditions. It is the best defense against the unpredictable Canadian winter."

To ensure drivers are fully prepped, here are a few questions they should be asking themselves before heading out on the roads this winter:

  • Do You Have Your Winter Tires Yet? As temperatures drop, the rubber in all-season tires can stiffen, significantly reducing traction and control. Winter tires on the other hand maintain their elasticity in the cold temperatures and are essential for providing vehicles with the additional traction needed to navigate the ice and snow. Contrary to common belief, it is not suitable to have only two winter tires either on the back or front as this does not provide the necessary traction on the snow-covered roadways. Drivers should install four matching winter tires and check them regularly to ensure they are inflated to the recommended pressure.
  • Is Your Battery All Charged Up? The cold weather is a car battery's worst enemy. Have your battery tested and replaced if necessary, and in the unfortunate event where your battery fails you on the road make sure to have a set of booster cables in your trunk and familiarize yourself with how to use them properly. To make it simple, CAA offers its Members free battery diagnostic testing at the home, workplace, roadside and at CAA-approved vehicle repair facilities.
  • How Do Your Brakes Feel? If you notice a change in your pedal feel, hear squealing or grinding when you apply your brakes, it is important to have them fully serviced. This will ensure that they are even and stable for the poor weather conditions.
  • How Safe is Your Exhaust System? Make sure to check your exhaust for leaks. A properly sealed exhaust will reduce the risk for carbon monoxide poisoning and a leak-free system will help battle excessive fuel consumption.
  • Will You Be Warm? You do not want the heating and defogging functions of your vehicle to fail on the coldest days. Make sure to have the strength and function of the heater and defroster tested and check your radiator hoses and drive belts for cracks and leaks. Lastly, make sure that the water pump and thermostat are all in working order. You will be happy you checked these on those -40°C days!
  • Are You Streak Free? Make sure that your wiper blades are designed for winter use. If your current ones smear or streak, it is time for a new set. Also, stock up on winter washer fluid that is rated to -40°C and always carry an extra jug in your vehicle just in case. Having a clear streak-free sight of the road will make it that much more comfortable driving on the snowy days.
  • Do You Have a Road Hazard Kit? A driving emergency can happen to anyone at any time. Every driver should carry an emergency road hazard kit that is easily accessible, because you never know what can happen. CAANEO recommends that the kit contain essential survival items such as: a flashlight with backup batteries; collapsible shovel; First Aid kit; warm clothing (hat, gloves) and a blanket; non-perishable food items and water. CAA has a fully packed Road Hazard Survival Kit that is available to purchase at any of the CAA Stores.
  • Do You Have a New Driver in the Household? Not everyone on the road is an experienced driver, and new drivers are at an increased risk of being involved in a crash, especially during the unapologetic winter season. Take some time with your new driver. After the first major snowfall, take them to an empty parking lot and have them practice in a safe and controlled environment to help build their confidence. Providing them with the proper tools and a fully winter prepared car to drive will only help to decrease your stress level.

For more information on winterizing your ride and for detailed information on the wide range of services available with CAA North & East Ontario, please visit www.caaneo.ca or in person at any of our store locations.

CAA North & East Ontario provides roadside assistance to Members, along with an extensive array of travel and insurance services designed to suit the individual needs, wants and expectations of our Members.

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