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Winter driving: master the art of braking

Quebec winters bring with them dangerous roads, slippery slush, deep snow and black ice. Slamming your brakes could cause you to crash into the vehicle ahead of you at a red light, skid past your turn-off or slide into a rink-slick intersection. To prevent these unintentional accidents, read this article by the Auto Value Certified Service Centers team.

Factors to consider for safe braking in winter

Most motorists underestimate icy road conditions or put too much faith in their winter tires. As a result, they don’t adjust their braking practices, or at least not enough.

When they get into a situation where their vehicle keeps moving even when they press the brake pedal, they panic — which is entirely understandable. Here are some points to keep in mind as you take to the roads this winter.

  • Ensure your tires are correctly inflated. Contrary to what some people may think, decreasing your tire pressure doesn’t improve traction.
  • Double or triple your following distance. This will give you the extra time you need for sudden braking, like if the driver ahead of you tries to avoid a deer.
  • Even if the road appears clear and dry, beware of black ice. It’s more common in shady areas, under overpasses and in near-zero temperatures. Reduce your speed gradually.
  • Begin braking earlier than you usually would on snow-covered roads.
  • If your car has anti-lock braking, don’t pump your brakes. If it doesn’t, press and hold the brake, releasing only when you need to steer.

What to do if you skid on ice or snow

Skids often occur when driving fast or when your wheels lock up. If the front of your vehicle starts skidding, lift your foot off the accelerator or brake pedal. Then, point your wheels in the direction of the swerve. If your rear wheels are skidding, turn the front wheels in the same direction as the rear wheels. In both cases, look in the direction you want to go. Avoid sudden manoeuvres and try to stay as calm as possible.

Do you want to improve your driving skills and confidence on the road? Register for a winter driving course. You’ll develop better reflexes in a safe environment. Make an appointment at an Auto Value Certified Service Centers repair shop near you to ensure your tires and braking system are in good condition.

Service is the difference. We get it!

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