Winter driving can be tough on the nerves, and even tougher on your insurance premiums if you don’t drive carefully. With three dealerships located across Edmonton, and serving surrounding areas like Spruce Grove, St. Albert, Sherwood Park, and Mill Woods, the staff at Go Nissan has first-hand experience tackling Albertan winters—because they do it every day too. That’s why Go Nissan compiled a handy list of helpful winter driving tips, to make this difficult driving season more bearable and, hopefully, accident-free. Don’t forget to buckle up, while we look at the ways you can make your winter commute safer and less stressful.
How to prepare for winter
Perhaps the easiest way to stay safe on the road this winter is to properly prepare your Nissan. While Go Nissan’s extensive inventory of Nissan vehicles features the brand’s wide range of safety features—including Intelligent All-Wheel Drive—there are a few precautions you can and should take to ensure your Nissan is winter-ready. They include, but aren’t limited to:
- Winter tires: we’ve gone over this one before, and we’ll undoubtedly do it again. There’s no easier way to ensure your vehicle is prepped for winter, than with a proper set of winter tires; we just can’t stress this enough. Learn more about why you need winter tires, here.
- Make sure your maintenance is up to date: having your brakes and heating systems checked, as well as the proper (and properly filled) fluids in your vehicle, can make all the difference when it comes to your Nissan keeping its cool in sub-zero conditions.
- Pack an emergency kit: having a kit in your vehicle, in the event of an accident or break-down, is an easy way to stay comfy in the cold. Blankets, gloves, non-perishable snacks, or whatever else you want to pack can seriously come in handy.
- While not a necessity, here at Go Nissan we’re a big fan of automatic car starters, saving us from needing to brave the elements to get our vehicles started.
The service department at any of our three dealerships—Go Nissan North, Go Nissan South, or downtown’s Ericksen Nissan—would be happy to help you out with any of the above, including buying winter tires, or servicing your vehicle.
How to handle winter conditions
Of course, being prepared is only half the battle. Driving in a safe, defensive, and efficient manner not only tends to improve your fuel economy, but can also keep you from getting injured, or having your vehicle damaged. Some tips for safer driving on the snow and ice include:
- Give yourself plenty of time to get from point A to point B. Leave earlier than usual, and assume that your commute will take longer than normal.
- Accelerate and decelerate slowly.
- As a matter of fact, just drive slower than you usually would.
- Double your following distance, and allow yourself extra time and space while attempting to brake on ice.
- If you do start to slide, remember to look and steer your vehicle in the direction you want it to drive—but be careful not to oversteer.
- If your Nissan is equipped with an automatic transmission that allows you to shift gears, downshifting will help you slow down without using your brakes (and potentially locking your wheels).
- Make sure your tires are properly inflated.
- Never use cruise control while driving on snow, or other slick surfaces.
We hope these tips will help you stay safe on the road, during our very long (and often very cold) winter season. Our favourite tip, which we suggest utilizing every chance you can—just don’t go out! Curl up by the fireplace with a book and a warm drink, or cozy up under a big blanket and catch an Oilers game from the comfort of your couch.
If you have any other questions about how to make your vehicle winter-ready, or are interested in one of the many Nissan vehicles built with a wide variety of safety features perfect for an Edmonton winter, feel free to call us or send in your questions via the form below. For everyone’s sake, drive safe out there!