Tips to help new drivers get through their first winter on the road

Presented by La Turquoise Agency
You just got your brand-new learner driver's licence and you're just starting to drive when winter comes along! Check out these tips for driving safely in the snow or ice during the winter months from December to April. Learn how to handle Quebec winters safely, and with as little stress as possible.
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Prepare your vehicle well

Before hitting the road, you need to perform certain checks on your vehicle. These simple actions may seem obvious, but they can prevent complications and even an accident on the road. 

  • Check the level of your windshield washer fluid before you set off. Even experienced drivers use a lot of this fluid during winter. It’s also wise to carry an extra container or two in the trunk just in case you run out! Also, make sure your windshield wipers are in good condition. It's not uncommon in sub-zero weather for snow and ice to block your wiper blades and greatly reduce visibility.
  • Clear all the snow off your car before you get behind the wheel. This tip may not seem worth mentioning, but snow buildup on your vehicle’s roof or on the passenger side of the car can affect your visibility or be dangerous for other motorists. Snow on the roof can blow off with the wind and fall back onto the road and other vehicles.

For more useful tips about winter driving, check out the article : How to get your car ready for winter.

Learn to share the road

As a new driver, you still need to develop your reflexes to drive safely in winter. That’s only normal! You’re still perfecting your technique and learning the rules of the road – the Highway Safety Code. So, just relax and try to keep these tips in mind. 

  • Increase the distance between you and the vehicle in front of you. Snow and ice on the road affect braking. So, don’t clamp down on the brake pedal; instead, alternate pressing and releasing the pedal. This will help you grip the road better and avoid skidding or hitting the vehicle in front of you. Also, allow more time than usual for braking. 
  • Try to drive in existing snow tracks rather than on fresh snow where you’re more likely to skid.
  • Watch out for freezing rain that can form virtually invisible black ice on the road. Drive more slowly in freezing rain and avoid sudden movements that could make you lose control of your vehicle.
  • Put your cellphone away – it's the biggest distraction when driving. If you absolutely must use it for directions, be sure to obey the Highway Safety Code.

Follow the rules when close to winter maintenance vehicles

You must never pass snowplows or salt spreaders when their flashing blue lights are on. This Highway Safety Code rule is very important in our Quebec winters, but it’s not common knowledge. While it can certainly be frustrating to wait behind winter maintenance vehicles, they’re working to keep you safe and the roads in good condition. Just be patient and listen to your favourite music to pass the time.

Think about vehicle insurance

As a new driver, it's also time to think about your mandatory auto insurance. La Turquoise Agency can help you choose coverage that best matches your needs and budget. Simply contact one of our agents who will clearly explain the ins and outs of vehicle insurance! 

Take advantage of the my Drive™ app’s practical features 

With Intact Insurance’s my Drive™, you get a set of useful features like weather alerts to help you plan your trips, maintenance reminders to keep your car in top-notch condition and roadside assistance in the event of an accident. This handy app detects serious accidents in real time and provides immediate assistance. This means you can quickly contact emergency services, transmit your location to your loved ones so they don't worry, follow the accident-scene instructions if it’s your first accident, file your claim right away and find a nearby towing service if you don't already have roadside assistance.*

*Certain conditions apply. This website provides general information only. Your insurance policy contract takes precedence at all times. For more details, contact an agent at La Turquoise Agency.

Need car insurance? Receive advice and coverage based on your needs with La Turquoise Agency.

Contact La Turquoise Agency

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