Toronto car accident lawyers explain what Ontario drivers need to know
Driving in winter in Ontario can be hazardous – whether it’s ice on the 401 in Toronto or sleet or snow on the Don Valley Parkway or the Gardiner Expressway. Whatever the circumstances, drivers must be prepared to avoid serious car accidents.
That’s why the Ontario Ministry of Transportation recently put together a list of winter driving safety tips designed to help drivers avoid a collision – including how to prepare for driving in the winter and what drivers should do before preparing to leave on a winter driving trip. Many of these winter driving tips are similar to the ones given by Transport Canada.
Any advice aimed at preventing winter car accidents in Ontario is welcome news to our legal team. The Toronto car accident lawyers at Smitiuch Injury Law know all too well just how dangerous Ontario’s roads can be during the winter.
Steps Ontario drivers should take to prepare for winter
The Ontario Ministry of Transportation has several tips for drivers getting ready for winter, especially in Northern Ontario. Such winter driving tips include:
- Get a vehicle maintenance checkup to make sure your car is winter ready.
- Keep your fuel tank at least half full. This reduces moisture in your car’s fuel system and adds extra weight to your vehicle, which can be helpful when driving in snow.
- Keep an ice scraper in your car.
- Use windshield washer fluid that works at -40°C.
- Keep a winter survival kit in your car. Your kit should include a flashlight, non-perishable food, water, blanket, jumper cables, shovel, charged phone, traction mats or sand, candles, and a lighter or matches.
Why winter tires matter in Ontario
One of the most important winter driving steps drivers should take is checking their vehicle’s tires to ensure they can handle hazardous weather conditions. In particular, the Ontario Ministry of Transportation recommends getting snow tires for all four wheels.
Winter tires are different than all-season tires. In particular, all-season tires can lose their grip at minus 7 Celsius or colder. Drivers in Northern Ontario might also want to consider getting studded snow tires, which are allowed in Northern Ontario but prohibited for drivers in Southern Ontario.
How to prepare for a winter driving trip
So, what should drivers do the day they’re planning to take a winter road trip in Ontario? The Ontario Ministry of Transportation recommends taking the following steps:
- Check the weather forecast. If the weather looks bad, consider postponing your trip.
- Find out which roads have been plowed or where snowplows are operating in Ontario. Such information can be found on the Ontario 511 website.
- Before your drive, clear all ice and snow off your vehicle’s windows, roof, headlights, and mirrors.
What to do on the road when driving in winter
Once you’re on the road in Ontario, if you encounter winter weather, the Ontario Ministry of Transportation recommends taking the following steps:
- Slow down. Speeding on snow, ice, or in other hazardous winter weather conditions remains one of the most common causes of collisions.
- Don’t use cruise control when driving on snow or ice.
- Steer gently. No sudden or sharp movements.
- Gently apply your brakes. Don’t slam them on in ice or snow.
- Leave extra space before your vehicle and other cars.
- Stay focused on everything around you on the road. This means putting down your phone.
- Turn on your headlights so other vehicles can see your car as well.
- Don’t drive too close to snowplows. Leave extra space.
How a Toronto car accident lawyer can help
You might think you don’t need a lawyer if another driver hits you because they failed to adjust for the snow or ice-covered roads. Unfortunately, many car crashes in Toronto and the GTA often turn out to be complicated legal cases.
This is why it’s critical that injury victims talk to a lawyer right away to learn more about their legal rights. Our experienced Toronto car accident lawyers at Smitiuch Injury Law can help you every step of the way. We know the law and understand how the legal system works in Ontario. That’s we have such a strong track record of success.
Discover what we can do for you. Contact our law firm and schedule a free consultation with a Toronto car accident lawyer you can count on in a crisis. Our law firm has three offices conveniently located in Toronto, Brantford, and Simcoe, Ontario.