Road Today - - Winter Driving -

The hol­i­day sea­son is prime driv­ing time for most folks headed out to visit fam­ily and friends, mean­ing more peo­ple on the road, more pos­si­ble dis­trac­tions, and more rea­sons to make sure you’ve taken all pre­cau­tions to help keep you and your loved ones safe. Ac­cord­ing to a re­cent study, hol­i­day week­ends see on av­er­age an 18 per cent higher rate of fa­tal col­li­sions ver­sus non-hol­i­day week­ends. Tak­ing the fol­low­ing sim­ple steps can help pre­vent ac­ci­dents, en­sure your ve­hi­cle is ready for long trips, and even help you get some much-needed R&R dur­ing the hol­i­days.

1. Check your ve­hi­cle be­fore hit­ting the road.

Dur­ing the harsh win­ter months, hav­ing a fresh oil change is crit­i­cal. Us­ing a hard­work­ing mo­tor oil like Quaker State Ul­ti­mate Dura­bil­ity with its sig­na­ture top-notch cold weather pumpa­bil­ity will keep your engine run­ning smooth. Other im­por­tant com­po­nents in­clude ap­pro­pri­ate tire tread and pres­sure, func­tion­ing wiper blades, and top­ping off an­tifreeze and coolant lev­els.

2. Plan your trip and check driv­ing con­di­tions.

In ad­di­tion to map­ping out stops for fu­el­ing, it’s help­ful to in­cor­po­rate ex­tra time to get to your des­ti­na­tion and ac­count for in­clement weather con­di­tions or heavy traf­fic. It may even be nec­es­sary to take a break to de­com­press and re­boot to avoid ex­haus­tion or high­way hyp­no­sis.

3. Don’t drink and drive. It may sound like com­mon sense, but im­paired driv­ing-re­lated in­ci­dents are typ­i­cally on the rise dur­ing the hol­i­day sea­son. These types of in­ci­dents can be avoided by en­list­ing the help of a des­ig­nated driver, tak­ing pub­lic trans­porta­tion, or us­ing a car ser­vice. Each is a sure­fire way to have fun and still get home in one piece.

4. Re­main calm. Re­search shows that more than half of sur­veyed Cana­di­ans wit­nessed ag­gres­sive driv­ing dur­ing the win­ter hol­i­days. While there are tons of rea­sons to be stressed or rush­ing dur­ing the hol­i­days, it’s im­por­tant to con­trol your emo­tions — es­pe­cially while driv­ing. Stay fo­cused and take a deep breath. Dur­ing the hol­i­day sea­son it’s a marathon, not a sprint.

5. Re­mem­ber your hol­i­day cheer.

The hol­i­days are meant for mer­ri­ment, to­geth­er­ness, and re­lax­ation. Be­ing pre­pared, hav­ing a travel plan in place, and avoid­ing added stres­sors will give you peace of mind. Drive safe, drive smart, and plan ahead.

Find more in­for­ma­tion at www. quak­er­state.ca

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