As you know, enjoying the lowest possible rates on auto insurance in Calgary requires that you avoid accident and stay claims-free.
Winter tires have a proven safety record, helping drivers avoid accidents and collisions on icy and snowy roads around Calgary and Alberta. While many drivers are tempted to save some money and rely on their all-season tires, this can backfire. All-season tires simply aren’t designed to perform in our severe winter driving conditions, and if you’re involved in an accident that could have been avoided, you could well see your insurance premiums go up.
Depending on the severity of the accident, your raised premiums could even end up likely costing you more money than buying winter tires!
The Design Science behind Winter Tires
The key design feature that differentiates winter tires from all-season tires is their unique tread patterns. Winter tires have treads that actively eject water, ice and snow, helping the tire maintain better contact with the pavement. This results in a superior grip and more predictable, more controlled handling.
In addition to unique and high-performing tread patterns, winter tires are also made of softer, more pliable grades of rubber. As a result, they don’t become as rigid in sub-zero temperatures. This, in turn, helps them remain responsive during steering, manoeuvring and braking.
Winter Tire Purchase and Installation Tips
Here are some important pieces of advice to keep in mind in regards to shopping for and installing winter tires:
- Winter tires should be slightly more narrow than your regular all-season tires. The narrower the tire, the greater the pressure it puts on the pavement when you’re driving. Thus, narrower winter tires will push away greater amounts of water, ice and snow.
- Experts recommend that you install your winter tires as soon as daytime high temperatures are regularly at or below 5 degrees Celsius.
Avoid Common Winter Driving Mistakes
Even though most Calgarians are excellent winter drivers, mistakes happen. It’s easy to forget what to do in an unexpected situation or emergency, and being prepared can make all the difference.
Here are some quick tips for safer winter driving:
- Do not drive above posted speed limits, and always adjust your speed for road conditions
- Do not drive aggressively in wet, snowy or icy conditions
- Make sure you always have a good supply of windshield washer fluid and antifreeze
- Avoid driving in heavy snowstorms if at all possible
- Increase your following distance
- Avoid all forms of distracted driving
- If you hit a patch of black ice, grip the steering wheel lightly, stay focused on where you’re going, and remove your foot from the gas pedal; your vehicle should stabilize as you decelerate, allowing you to regain control
What to Do if You Get Stuck in the Winter
Again, preparation is the key. You should always keep an emergency kit in your trunk during the winter. It should contain:
- Flares or reflective triangles
- A torch or flashlight with extra batteries
- Woolen hats and mittens or good gloves
- Extra warm clothing and blankets
- Non-perishable foods and drinking water
- Sand or kitty litter
Before you head out on the road, be sure your cell phone is completely charged so you can call for help if you get stuck and can’t get yourself moving.
The items listed above could save your life if you’re trapped on the road, but hopefully one or more of these strategies will help you get unstuck:
- Gear down to the lowest possible setting, then try to ease back in reverse. If your car moves, stop, come forward a little, then move into reverse again. Repeat until your vehicle is freed.
- Failing this, try to dig your way out with a shovel. Spread sand or kitty litter around your rear wheels to improve your tires’ grip, then employ the aforementioned reverse-forward-reverse strategy.
Auto Insurance Calgary: Trust Lane’s for Excellent Service at Competitive Rates
Lane’s Insurance is a leading Alberta-based brokerage, offering highly competitive rates, friendly and courteous service, and outstanding claims support. Lane’s is pleased to offer extensive informational resources to readers, and if you’re looking to save on your auto insurance, visit Lane’s online to get a fast, free quote.
As a brokerage, the professionals at Lane’s Insurance work for you, not the insurance companies. You can rest assured they’re always acting to protect your best interests and get you the most comprehensive coverage at the lowest possible rates.