Not all luxury vehicle owners pack up for the winter. Owners of exotic SUVs and cars can still be seen on Toronto’s snowy roads. While navigation is a little bit trickier, driving isn’t impossible just because of the snow. Most luxury car brands are engineered with stronger, more powerful parts which are actually quite an advantage when it comes to winter driving. Plus, handy built-in technology found in many brands like Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz, such as hands-free communication, back-up camera systems and advanced safety features make the commute down the Don Valley Parkway that much easier. This December, Torontonians have already seen their fair share of snow and freezing temperatures. To keep you safe for the remainder of the winter season, we’ve outlined the top 10 safety measures to keep in mind when you hit the road.
Get Your Winter Tires
Arguably the most important safety feature on any luxury vehicle is a pair of winter tires. Winter tires aren’t just a fancy money-grabbing scheme. Their thick rubber and deeper tread patterns are designed to cut through ice and snow and grip the cold pavement. Summer and all-season tires simply won’t do the trick. If you haven’t already, come on down to the dealership and visit our team in the Service Department to learn more.
Make an Emergency Kit
It might sound silly, but you can never be too careful when it comes to winter in Canada. Unexpected cold fronts or freak blizzards are all too common, especially if you’re going for a long country drive up Highway 35 to the Muskoka Lakes. Always dress appropriately for the weather and never rely on your vehicle’s heating and defrosting systems to do the trick. It’s also a good idea to always carry a spare blanket, flashlight, dry snacks, water and a set of jumper cables and store them in the trunk just in case. A phone charger is also something you should always keep up front with you, in case you get stranded.
Keep Your Distance
Signs on the roads and highways tell us to stay back a certain measurement from other vehicles, but on snowy days it can be tough. Winter weather tends to slow everybody down and before you know it, you’re bumper to bumper on the highway in the midst of a traffic jam. It can also be comforting to follow the lights of the vehicle up front when driving at night, but experts don’t recommend this. If the vehicle you’re following hits the brakes suddenly and you’re too close, you’re at risk of colliding with them and contributing to a serious accident.
Check the Weather
Use your vehicle’s GPS system for live weather updates, or sync your smartphone to Bluetooth technology for the latest weather information. If you were planning on taking your luxury car out for a spin and there’s a storm on the way, you can postpone it for another day. Checking the weather frequently also means you’ll know what you need for a stress-free trip.
Take Your Time
It’s always annoying to be stuck in traffic, especially when the snow starts coming down hard. However, your safety and the safety of those around you is much more important than any place you need to be. Most accidents are preventable and happen simply as a result of too many impatient drivers on the roads. Take your time and keep an eye out on the vehicles around you. Also, avoid practicing the herd mentality (following other vehicles) in severe weather, since this could lead you to make a costly mistake. Apply gentle acceleration and braking and don’t speed on winter roadways.
Remove Ice and Snow
If you’re in a hurry, you might consider skipping out on brushing all of the ice and snow from your front and back windshield. You might even rely on your vehicle’s heated mirrors and defrosting system to take care of the job. This can be dangerous for many reasons. On the highway, high speeds could cause the snow and ice on your vehicle to fly off and move into the sight pattern of the driver behind you. Similarly, if you haven’t removed all of the debris from your own view, your sight pattern could be compromised and land you in a bad situation. Always take the extra time to completely clear your vehicle.
Keep Your Contacts Handy
Always have the numbers of OPP, CAA, and any other emergency services on hand should you encounter an emergency situation. Certain luxury cars and SUVs have automatic crash response programs that alert emergency services to come to your aid. However, it’s always a good idea to either memorize these numbers or keep them in your phone.
Book a Service Appointment
Before you hit the road this winter, it’s always a good idea to book a winter maintenance appointment. This ensures everything is functioning as it should so that there are no surprises out on the road. From tire installation and rotation to fluid checks, engine checks and much more, we’ll make sure your vehicle is completely winterized.
Share the Road
Safe driving starts with you. Practice ethical driving this winter and share the road. Always use your signals and don’t speed. Give big trucks and snowplows plenty of room and never cut in front of either vehicle for the sake of gaining five seconds of time until arriving at your destination.
Give Yourself Extra Time
If you know driving conditions will be bad, leave earlier than you normally would. Not only does this give you more time to get to your destination, but it might influence you to not think twice about speeding or driving aggressively. Leaving early could also mean there are fewer vehicles out on the road.
This holiday season, get there safely. Book a service appointment with our technicians and get your luxury car or SUV in top-notch condition for those winter roads. Call us today at 1-(877) 503-5102 or contact us online to reserve your spot.