Winter arrived a bit early for us here in Calgary. Seriously, we went from 30 above to straight up snow. Perhaps it’s the pregnancy hormones talking, but I was totally ready for the transition to cooler temps! If the snow hasn’t hit where you are yet, it’s only a matter of time. Time to break out the snow shovels, hockey skates, snowshoes, and all that other Canadian paraphernalia 😉 My husband and I have several favourite winter past times, but our all time favourite is taking road trips together. Since having children, it’s become our go-to mode of travel because it’s so much easier than flying. There are a couple things we’ve learned along the way when it comes to winter driving and since winter is very much upon us, I thought I’d share these five easy safe winter driving tips with you!
Duh. Winter tires are an absolute must in Canada and it’s a good idea to get them put on as early as possible. They’ll last you anywhere from 3-5 seasons depending on how much driving you’re doing. Regardless of how great your summer tires are, the grip you get will be nowhere near what you need for our cold and icy road conditions. I’ve heard some success stories with all season tires, but I prefer to have two seasonal sets. It just makes me feel a lot safer with the kind of road trips we take.
While we’re talking tires, I should also mention that it’s a good idea to throw a tire gauge into your glovebox. Canadian winters are harsh on our tires and getting a few punctures here and there are inevitable. A tire gauge will ensure you don’t go about your business with a flat though. Driving with a flat tire, be it on a spare or a regular tire, is extremely dangerous especially on highways, and this simple tool will help you mitigate that risk. Check your tire pressure at least once a month or before leaving on a long road trip.
Just like we do with our own health, it’s super important to bring your vehicle in for regular maintenance. I know it can be a pain to bring your car in for regular servicing, but the alternative is a possible breakdown in the middle of winter or worse. The most important things to have checked this winter are your tires, brakes, the heating and cooling system, and the exhaust system.
If you’re on your phone as much as I am, you’re bound to be charging it at least twice a day. I find that I’m constantly using my phone on road trips (don’t worry, I’m not driving AND on my phone at the same time 😉 )- posting Instagram stories, snapping photos, but mostly playing Old MacDonald on repeat… Having your phone fully charged is also imperative safety wise. You might find yourself in a situation where you have to call your insurance company, an emergency vehicle, a tow truck, or for a friend to come help you. Car chargers are super inexpensive and will keep that oh-so vital cell phone at 100%.
I was never into emergency anything until I had children. But knowing that I now have little humans depending on me, I have to take extra precautions. Here’s a super easy, no frills and compact emergency kit that you can stick in the trunk of your car. Just knowing that it’s there gives me a huge sense of relief. Kind of like knowing there are life vests under your seat on the plane… you hope you’ll never use them but knowing that they’re there is comforting. Here’s what to pack:
granola bars + water bottles
toques + mittens
diapers, extra mitts & toques (if you have children)
Plan in advance
Map out your route in advance of leaving on a winter road trip. Make sure you check the road conditions for your entire route as well as the weather and the time it will take to get to your destination. The beauty of road trips is that, for the most part, you’re on your own timeline so postponing it by an hour or even a day should be possible if the road conditions aren’t safe.
Ensuring your Safety
Snowy and icy conditions doesn’t mean we can’t get away for some fun! All it takes is a little preparation. As with everything, we can plan and plan until the cows come home. But when things don’t go according to plan, it’s nice to know that there’s someone to fall back on. Esurance has some of the best competitive prices in home and auto insurance. We all need auto insurance but the importance of it is accentuated even more in these winter months. There are countless things can go awry and having a solid insurance policy behind you will make those unexpected surprises a lot easier to handle. Esurance is incredibly easy to get a hold of and they take the stress out of traditional insurance interactions. You can grab free quote at anytime to get started!
Love, peace & safety first
*The post is sponsored by Esurance, an Allstate company.