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Winter Driving

Winter driving is challenging - buckle up, phone down, slow down! Find more winter driving tips below.1


Check your vehicle

  • Get a winter maintenance check-up: battery, belts, hoses, radiator, oil, lights, brakes, exhaust, heater, wipers, ignition.
  • Use 4 matching winter tires for traction.
  • Keep an ice scraper in your vehicle.
  • Keep washer fluid effective to -40˚C in your vehicle. Keep extra washer fluid in your trunk.
  • Keep your fuel tank at least half full.
  • Clean all the snow off your vehicle before you drive.

Plan ahead

  • Keep an emergency car kit in your vehicle.
  • Have emergency supplies with you (charged cell phone, non-perishable food, water, flashlight, blanket, warm clothes, jumper cables, shovel and traction mats or sand, candles, lighter/matches).
  • Practice winter driving skills before you need them.


Ontario Ministry of Transportation

Winter Tires

For more information, please visit the Ontario Ministry of Transportation.


Buckle Up, Phone Down, Slow Down

  • Fasten your seatbelt.
  • Turn off your phone, focus on the road ahead.
  • Drive according to weather conditions.
  • Steer gently on curves and in slippery conditions. Hard braking, quick acceleration and abrupt gear changes can the car to skid.
  • Avoid cruse control on wet, snow or icy pavement.

Share the Road

  • Keep extra space between vehicles.
  • Yield to pedestrians and cyclists.
  • Give snow plows space – never pass a plow.

Obey Road Closures

Winter Tires

  • Winter tires improve traction and control in frost, snow and icy conditions.
  • All-season tires begin to lose their grip below +7°C and are not as effective in heavy snow and on ice.


Test Your Knowledge

Take the Ministry of Transportation’s (MTO) winter driving and winter tire quizzes below.


Information adapted from: Winter Driving - Be Prepared, Be Safe! Retrieved from the Ontario Ministry of Transportation. ©Queens Printer for Ontario, 2018.

Date of creation: January 31, 2013
Last modified on: January 10, 2019


1Winter Driving - Be Prepared, Be Safe! (2015).©Queens Printer for Ontario. Retrieved from