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Winter is just here, and that means there will be considerable changes to our road and driving conditions here in Southwestern Ontario. While we can’t control Mother Nature’s snow and ice storms, one thing we can control is our own driving practices. Safe driving can go a long way in preventing motor vehicle collisions out on our roadways. Continue reading this article for some great tips on safe winter driving practices we should all keep top of mind this season.

Prep your vehicle before winter hits

It may be hard to accept that winter is near, especially if the first big snowfall of the year hasn’t made its appearance. Nevertheless, it’s important to prepare your vehicle for the winter season before the snow and cold weather set in.

A great way to get your vehicle ready for winter is to have your winter tires put on sooner rather than later. If you’re hesitant to whether you really need winter tires or not, let us give you a few positive arguments for the practice:

  • Where we live – Living in Southwestern Ontario, with lake-effect snow conditions a frequent occurrence, it is inevitable that you’ll be driving in snowy, icy and slushy conditions this winter. Winter tires will allow your car to perform and react better in these conditions.
  • Insurance discounts – Not only will winter tires help you drive safely in poor weather and road conditions, they’ll also give you eligibility for some insurance discounts. Insurance rate reductions came into effect in Ontario in 2016and since then, drivers who use winter tires have been rewarded with a 2-5% reduction to their rates.
  • Contributory Negligence – From a legal perspective, outfitting your vehicle with winter tires is a no-brainer, and here’s why: say you are involved in a motor vehicle collision where it is clear the other driver was at fault. You sustain injuries and file a personal injury claim. In court, the defense lawyer asks whether you had winter tires on your vehicle and you did not. Suddenly, now the other driver is not 100% at fault and contributory negligence comes into play. When this happens, it can reduce the amount of compensation you recover for your injuries.

Give yourself extra time

For some, being methodical about your morning routine can be challenging. If you’re running out the door at the last minute, chances are you haven’t taken the time you need to get your vehicle ready for its commute. Set aside some time each day before using your vehicle to do the following:

  • Scrape off snow and ice from your exterior mirrors, collision avoidance sensors, windshield and windows
  • Remove snow from headlights, signal lights, and vehicle roof
  • Remove built-up ice from windshield wiper blades and windshield washer spray nozzles
  • Clean road grime off and condensation off of your exterior driving assistance cameras
  • Adjust temperature controls to clear any window fogging
  • Perform a quick 360 degree check around your vehicle to ensure everything looks right

There’s nothing worse than jumping in the car and taking off, only to realize two minutes into your drive that your wiper blades are frozen to your windshield and you’re losing visibility of the road in front of you. By taking the small actions listed above, you can ensure key areas of your vehicle are working the way they should be.

Use caution when driving

When the snow hits and the conditions start to get bad, it goes without saying that you shouldn’t be driving like you would on a dry, summer day. Remember to use caution this season by:

  • Slowing down
  • Breaking earlier
  • Never driving distracted
  • Being aware of current and forecasted weather conditions

Contact Harrison Pensa

While these tips will help you stay safe behind the wheel this winter, the reality is that accidents can and do happen, even if you’ve taken all the right precautions. If you are involved in a motor vehicle collision that was caused by the negligence of another person or party, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. The best course of action following an incident like this is to contact an experienced personal injury lawyer. At Harrison Pensa, our knowledgeable personal injury lawyers will guide you through the legal process, build a strong case and help you get the compensation you deserve. Contact us today by phone at 1-855-744-9228 or by email at personalinjurygroup@harrisonpensa.com.

A word from our clients

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"My wife was involved in a very serious motor vehicle collision several years ago, and luckily she survived, but unfortunately she suffered some injuries."
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January 8, 2016

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HARRISON PENSA ™ is a full-service law firm representing private & business interests throughout southwestern Ontario.

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