Vancouver, British Columbia – Remember the basics, slow down and drive smoothly: these are some of the reminders from advanced driver training company Code Zero as winter weather approaches.

Chief instructor Grant Kinney offers the following tips:

Remember the basics. In all conditions, the ability to see, steer and brake properly is paramount to arriving at your destination safely. All of these abilities are compromised in inclement weather.

– Slow down. This should be obvious, but it’s very important, and people are so used to driving at certain speeds on certain roads that they often forget the need to slow down in inclement weather.

– Drive smoothly. Wet or slippery conditions demand gentle use of the steering, clutch, brake and accelerator, and a larger allowance for errors and emergencies.

– Check your tires. In rain, bald tires significantly reduce traction and offer little resistance to hydroplaning. On ice and snow, even new all-season tires before well below the level of proper tires. If you live in any area where snow is expected, it is advisable to equip your vehicle with four good winter tires.

– Turn on your lights. It is essential that your vehicle can be seen by others in inclement weather. Even if your vehicle is equipped with daytime running lights, turn on your lights in poor weather so that you can be seen from the rear as well as from the front.

– Clear all your windows before you drive. It is important that both the outside and inside of your windows are clean and clear before departing on your journey, no matter how short or simple it may seem. Being able to see a potential problem is the only way you can prevent it from occurring.

– Be confident and steer towards safety. Many crashes are initiated by a skid. It is important to calm down and look where you want to go. In many situations, simply easing off the gas and carefully steering in the direction you want the front of the car to go will allow you to avoid a potential crash. If your vehicle is equipped with anti-lock brakes, you can apply the brakes firmly to slow and stop the vehicle while still maintaining steering control.

– Never blame the weather. If you drive in adverse conditions, you are responsible for your safety as well as that of your passengers and other road users. Always drive within your limits and the limits presented to you by weather conditions.

For more information, visit Code Zero.

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