Winter Is Coming – Get Your Vehicle Ready!

The days are getting shorter, the air is colder and it’s time to start thinking about winter driving.  signs

The best way to stay safe on the roads this winter is to avoid driving in winter conditions altogether. But, if you have to drive, drive smart and be prepared.   Before the snow falls, it is important to get your vehicle ready for winter driving conditions.

The first thing you should do is install proper winter tires on your vehicle. Although winter tires are not mandatory in B.C., for your safety and the safety of other drivers, ICBC recommends winter tires for driving in snow and ice, especially if you live in an area where you would normally expect a lot of snow. Why? You’re less likely to slide on the road. All-season tires begin to lose their elasticity and grip on the road at temperatures below 7°C, according to Transport Canada.

Driving without winter tires will not void your insurance if you need to make a claim.  ICBC states, “Driving without winter tires will not void your insurance if you have a claim. It also won’t mean you’re automatically at-fault in a crash. However, if you get in a crash where winter tires could have helped, not having them may affect whether, or how much you are at-fault.”

Also keep in mind that the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure announced new winter tire rules for British Columbia this year. From October 31 to March 31 sections of highways requiring winter tires or chains onboard are marked with roadside signs. For passenger vehicles, chains on summer tires are not an acceptable substitute for winter tires on signed highways.  If you’re driving on these roads without winter tires, police can ticket you and make you turn back.

Here are some more tips provided by the Winter Driving Safety Alliance to help you prepare for winter driving:

  1. Install winter tires
  2. Get your car winter ready with a maintenance check up
  3. Change your wiper blades to winter blades.
  4. Clear snow and ice from all windows, lights, mirrors, hood and roof
  5. If you have a cell phone, make sure its charged and bring it with you
  6. Make sure your windshield washer fluid reservoir is full, carry extra washer fluid in your vehicle.
  7. Be prepared by packing a winter survival kit.
  8. Keep your gas tank topped up.
  9. If you get stuck in a storm, don’t panic!

In addition to the above, if you don’t already have Underinsured Motorist Protection insurance coverage, also known as UMP coverage, this time of year is also a good time to consider getting it. UMP coverage will protect you if you are in an accident and the at-fault driver does not have sufficient insurance coverage to cover your claim. In other words, you may not be fully compensated for your injuries unless you purchase your own UMP coverage.

Under basic ICBC UMP coverage you will automatically receive $1,000,000. However medical costs for significant personal injuries can add up quickly, especially in cases where you or your family member will require long term care or at home assistance. Obtaining additional UMP coverage, for a relatively small yearly cost of approximately $25, will ensure you are protected despite the fact that another motorist is underinsured.

Click here to download a free information sheet prepared by the Winter Driving Safety Alliance for detailed information on preparing your vehicle for winter driving conditions, along with some other “must read” tips on winter driving safety.

If you are involved in a car accident and would like a free 30 minute consultation contact Caia Wojnarowicz at or (250) 448-7200.


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Each individual case requires that we review the specific facts and documents in order to research and provide an appropriate legal opinion. While the information contained on these forums is about legal issues, it is not legal advice. All non-legal professionals are urged to seek legal advice from a lawyer.




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