With a blast of winter weather arriving in Toronto overnight, it seemed like a good time to remind motorists of tips for driving in challenging conditions when the roads are covered with snow and ice.
Weather conditions will vary across the country, but there are basic things drivers in every province can do to make sure they are safe on the roads. Ford is committed to being an industry leader for safety. To help Canadians stay safe on the roads, Ford is reminding drivers of the following winter driving tips:
1. Slow and steady: Remember to slow down and leave extra space between you and the vehicle in front of you. Also, avoid abrupt moves—don't stop, start, or change direction suddenly and you'll maintain better control of your vehicle in inclement conditions.
2. Goodbye cruise control: Never use the speed control in slippery conditions. If the weather suddenly becomes hazardous while cruise control is engaged, simply disengage it manually or lightly tap the brakes.
3. Get to know the safety alphabet: Become more familiar with vehicle safety features such as ABS, TC, ESC and RSC, to understand how they can help.
• Anti-lock Braking System (ABS): Apply firm, continuous pressure on the brake pedal and ABS may activate to help you maintain control of the vehicle. Do not pump the brakes on a vehicle equipped with ABS.
• Traction Control: This feature most often engages at low speeds. In the majority of winter driving conditions, it is best to keep the traction control feature ON. However, in extreme conditions, for instance, deep snow or sheer ice, it may be better to turn OFF your traction control to get moving.
• Electronic Stability Control (ESC): ESC helps prevent your vehicle from skidding out or sliding laterally in slippery conditions.
• Roll Stability Control (RSCR): AdvanceTracR with Roll Stability Control. Helps to avoid a rollover in a collision situation.
4. Monitor tire wear: There are three important aspects when it comes to tires: pressure, tread wear and age.
• Tire pressure: Cold weather causes tires to lose pressure and become under inflated; meaning your safety on the road is compromised. Check your tire pressure regularly, especially when the temperature changes.
• Winter tires: The grooves in winter tires are about 30 per cent deeper than those in all-season tires, and they grip more effectively. All-season tires also start to lose their traction at around 8 degrees Celsius.
• Tire tread depth: Make sure your tires are in good condition, show no signs of irregular wear and have sufficient tread. If you see an issue, or are unsure what to look for stop by your local Ford store and have one of our tire experts inspect your vehicle to ensure you are confident and prepared for winter driving conditions.
• Tire age: Old tires can be unsafe, especially in the winter. It is recommended that tires older than six years be replaced.
5. Vehicle maintenance: Vehicles that have been regularly maintained according to their manufacturers required maintenance schedule should be ready for winter weather. If not, a visit to the local dealership to “catch up” on your required maintenance will ensure the vehicle is winter ready.
6. Read your owner's manual: All vehicles have different characteristics that will react to winter weather differently. This is a good time to check the manual for your particular vehicle's winter driving tips.