Albertans know we have harsh winters, and with that windy and snowy weather comes different driving conditions.
It's important to think ahead and to stay safe during this season, and these are some of the ways you can do.
First, always keep an emergency kit in your car. These kits can be purchased from many department stores, or it's easy enough to make your own.
Experts in the auto industry say the basic necessities include warm blankets, hats, touques and mittens for the driver and all passengers. As well, the Alberta Motor Association has a handy list of crucial pieces to remember:
(Photo courtesy of ama.ab.ca)
Donnie Lysons, Owner of Lacombe Auto Service Centre, said there are also lots of preventative measures you can take with your vehicle to ensure a safe winter trip.
"When preparing for winter driving, a person has to remember that vehicles don't work well in the cold - that's not what they're designed for. First of all, make sure your battery is in good shape and that the cable connections are in good shape. Everything takes more power to turn over, batteries aren't as efficient in cold weather - it's best to just have that checked out," he said, adding that it's also important to have good tires on your vehicle for the winter.
Lysons also said it's also a good time to take stock of any oil or fluid leaks before an emergency arises.
"It'd be best if you have that addressed on your terms, rather than on mother nature's terms. Have those leaky hose repairs or replaced sooner rather than later so it doesn't leave you stranded on the side of the road," he added.
As well, brake fluid flushes are recommended and Lysons explains that it's a relatively inexpensive issue to keep on top of. He said the vehicle's fluids are vital to a safe drive and it's always easier to deal with these issues before they arise.
Lysons said a good rule of thumb for pluggin in vehicles is about -18 degrees Celcius, but he says, "It's always better to be safe than sorry. If your vehicle does have a weak battery, plug it in a bit sooner than that to assist you with your start."
The Alberta government websiteThe Alberta government website does have information for safe driving and safety tips as well.