As much as I hate to use the ‘W’ word since we are just starting to see Autumn appear, we have to face the fact that winter-like weather can happen at anytime. In fact, parts of Alberta saw snow in late August and early September. And here we go, but are you ready?
Living in Canada means that our weather doesn’t coincide with what the calendar says; it can be hot and sunny one day with frost on the ground by morning. This means that we Albertans have to be prepared for whatever our crazy weather throws at us, well before we think it might come.
This is also a time of year when Canadians take many road trips; for reasons such as activities, events, to visit friends and family, or just for fun! Yet before the family jumps in the car with their devices and suitcases, there are some important steps to make, to ensure that road trip is a safe one.
Here are 8 Tips for Safe Winter Road Trips
1. Ensure your vehicle is winter ready – Ensure your vehicle is full of winter washer fluid, and check those tires as they lose air with drops in temperature. This is a good time to replace wiper blades too. Whether you do it yourself or have someone else do it, now is the time to get a winter tune-up to ensure brakes, lights and battery is in good working order. As soon as it snows, install those winter tires to improve vehicle handling and safety when on snow and ice. Everything mentioned contributes heavily to that safe road trip!
2. Check the Road Report – Before you leave for any road trip, familiarize yourself with the weather resorts and road conditions. This could make or break the entire trip, actually. You might need to postpone or delay leaving for your road trip if driving is risky.
4. Pack an Emergency Kit – While it’s advised to always keep an emergency kit in your vehicle at all times, checking for supplies in the kit is necessary before you depart on that road trip. You might need to add extra items like water, foods that are filling, a couple extra blankets, and a candle. When stranded for longer periods of time in the winter months, safety and health is a top concern and if roads are really bad, it might be some time until assistance arrives.
5. Know the Road – Before you leave for your road trip, take time to map out your destination. Check weather conditions at your destination as well, and do a quick online search for any closures or road warnings. It’s a good idea to ensure your GPS is up to date with current information, your phone is charged – and don’t forget to notify someone not travelling with you, of which route you are going to take.
6. Have a Full Tank – One of the best pieces of advice I was ever given when I got my first car was to never let my gas gauge go below half-way, to prevent the fuel line from freezing. This advice has stuck with me since, and one that I faithfully keep on top of. So, you might have to set aside time in your trip for a gas station pitstop.
7. Drive Safely – This may sound like an obvious one, but it’s so crucial that it has to be included. Plan your road trip accordingly, which may mean assigning extra time for driving if road conditions mean driving a little slower. Leave plenty of space between yourself and other vehicles for safety, and ensure you are alert and attentive for your drive.
8. Ensure you’re Covered – I’m talking about insurance! Before you depart, brush up on your insurance policy and make coverage adjustments if necessary, depending on your itinerary and needs. It’s better to be safe than sorry in all situations, and this includes coverage.
Esurance, backed by Allstate has been operating in the states since the late 1990’s, yet did you know that it’s now available to Albertans? It’s an insurance company that provides self-directed consumers with smart choices for auto insurance.
It’s a fact that our country is among the highest rate of internet usage in the world. We Canadians are top online users for everything such as banking, booking travel, and shopping online. Consumers like those in the province of Alberta, also prefer to shop for their insurance online – and Esurance comes with a modern-world approach to auto insurance.
With Esurance you can research insurance options and access documents online, day or night, 365 days a year. The end-to-end online experience goes from quote to online purchase and beyond, allowing consumers to manage their auto insurance how and when they want it, from the comfort of their own home.
Esurance offers a suite of innovative benefits for life in the modern world, including:
- Coverage Counsellor – An online tool that helps consumers find the right insurance coverage for their needs and empowers them to save time and money on their auto insurance. The Coverage Counsellor tool suggests coverages to consider based on answers to a few questions.
- What If® Calculator – Provides personalized online estimates of how certain events might lower or raise one’s premium. The What If Calculator lets you see how accidents, tickets, changing vehicles or moving could affect your rate.
In addition to online, Esurance customer service agents are available 24/7 by phone if customers need a little extra support, so everyone can find the right coverage at the right price.
Before you take that next road trip, ensure all the bases are covered and this includes being prepared for unpleasant experiences along the way. While it’s hoped not, you might experience a trip interruption along the way.
With Esurance, no matter where you are and what road trip you are on, they are with you.
Disclosure: I was compensated for this post, all opinions are my own.