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Seasons are Changing: Top Tips for the Upcoming Winter Driving Season

As the weather changes here from bright sunny days to the long dreary, wet cold days of winter, your friends at Shaw Insurance would like to remind you of some basic winter driving principles.

Winterize your car! Make sure your car is up to date with fluids, brakes and fuel. It’s best to keep your fuel tank half full during the winter – but particularly before a long trip on the road. Be sure that you’ve recently had your oil changed and that all the other fluids in your car have been topped off before heading out on the road in the cold.

Slow down. When snow really starts to accumulate, it’s in everyone’s best interest to slow down – you never know if a patch of black ice could be up ahead. Plan ahead, look at weather forecasts and give yourself enough time to get to your designed location without speeding.

Stay alert! Do not drive distracted. Safe driving in snow means paying attention to your surroundings, not to your phone or radio. It goes without saying but distracted driving is becoming an epidemic problem in Ontario.

Last but not least, consider installing winter tires. In extreme cold temperatures, the tread rubber of an all season or summer tire stiffens and becomes less able to provide sufficient traction. To combat this, tread rubber compounds of winter tires are designed to remain flexible, allowing the tire to grip the road better.

Is installing Winter tires worth it?
While we will leave the added safety features up to you to research (we believe Snow Tires are a must for every Canadaian Driver…), from an insurance perspective, the insurance companies are mandated to provide a discount of some form to policyholders who install winter tires. In January 2016 in an effort to help curb the rising cost of insurance the provincial government introduced a winter tire discount.

What are the requirements?
As long as the following are met, based off of the provision put forth by the Ontario government, you cannot be denied the mandatory winter tire discount.

  • Tires must actually be installed on your vehicle (not just sitting in your garage)
  • All 4 tires must be winter tires
  • “All-season” tires do not count as winter tires
  • Must be certified winter tires (look for the mountain peek/snowflake logo)

While there is no set discount available from each company we represent, please contact us today to have this discount added to your policy.

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