It’s a known fact that driving in the winter is a difficult time to stay safe on the roads. After all, almost 30% of car accidents in Canada happen on snowy or icy roads. Five percent of those accidents happen during snowfall and more than 50,000 accidents that occur each year are due to precipitation.
Collision Statistics in the Winter
Surprisingly, the summer and fall seasons we still see more deadly accidents than the winter months. Even so, Canadian winter weather conditions play a huge factor in the number of accidents each year. In 2010, over 1,400 accidents cited weather conditions among factors. In addition, in almost 3,500 accidents, loose snow or slush was present. Sleet or hail was falling during 175 accidents, drifting snow during 500 accidents, light snow during 900 accidents, and heavy snow during 1,500 accidents.
With the snowiest months between November and April in Canada, we average approximately 6 cm of snow on the ground. Extreme snow depths have reached 25 cm. Even though Canadians are not strangers to driving in the snow, the winter weather continues to play a chief factor in the amount of collisions that happen each and every year. During 2010, over 30% of accidents’ major contributing factor was the environmental condition and almost five percent of all accidents resulting in death cited the weather. In more than 26% of 2010 accidents, packed snow or ice was present and during 1,500 accidents, heavy snowfall was occurring.
Winter Driving Preparation Tips
Even though we in Canada cannot avoid the snow, we can do our best to avoid having an accident because of the winter weather. Below are some tips to keep in mind to help you prepare for winter driving:
- Before winter even arrives, get your car winterized so you’re not caught in the first storm of the season unprepared.
- Consider purchasing winter tires for your vehicle – it’s no coincidence that both Germany and Quebec require winter tires on all vehicles!
- Check that your car’s emergency kit is fully stocked and includes: blankets, sleeping bags, extra layers of clothing, high energy snacks, jumper cables, flashlights with extra batteries and a first aid kit.
- Have a scraper, broom, and shovel in your trunk in case you need to remove snow and ice.
- Ensure you carry windshield washer fluid in your vehicle so that you can always keep your wipers moving to defrost ice from your windshield.
- Constantly keep your cell phone charged and invest in a car charger.
- Ensure your car’s gas tank is full. This is not only useful in case of an emergency, but also to keep the fuel line from freezing.
- Notify someone that you are on your way. Tell them the route that you are taking and your estimated time of arrival.
Unfortunately, we as Canadians cannot simply hibernate for six months and avoid the winter weather altogether! However, the number one way to decrease the winter-weather driving related statistics is to drive slow or avoid driving in bad conditions.
If you’ve fallen victim to the winter weather and have been in a collision, contact us today. At Waterdown Collision we provide a variety of guaranteed collision services and car rental services.