Kids playing in toy car in the snow.

October 15, 2015

Get ready for winter driving (and save on car insurance too)

1 min read


As summer gives way to fall and the air grows colder, all Canadians know that winter is right around the corner. Despite its beauty, snow can be quite a hazard, wreaking havoc on the road and making your commute far more challenging than normal. With these winter driving tips, you’ll be ready for anything, from light flurries to blustery blizzards.

Slow down

Even though the roads may not seem so bad, slow and steady wins the race when it comes to winter driving. Posted speed limits indicate the safest maximum speed in optimal conditions, which means when snow is on the road, it’s time to slow down. Give yourself extra time before you leave and take all turns and stops carefully. Even if others are passing you, stay in your comfort zone.

Keep a safe following distance

As tempting as it might be to tail the person in front of you while stuck in traffic, don’t. Braking in hazardous conditions isn’t easy, and following other drivers too closely can be a recipe for disaster. Instead, make sure you can see some road in between you and the car in front of you to avoid a winter weather fender bender.

Begin braking early

When the roads are slick with snow and ice, it can be much harder to stop than usual. Instead of speeding to the traffic light, begin to brake early, making a slower approach to the intersection. You never know where ice is hidden under snow, which can make abrupt stops the cause of a nasty accident.

Invest in snow tires and save money

To make winter driving less stressful, it may be time to invest in some new tires. Snow tires provide increased traction, making it easier to brake quickly and drive without sliding across ice. In addition to the safety benefits snow tires provide, many insurance companies offer discounts for using snow tires in the winter, so be sure to ask about potential savings.

Keep an emergency kit on hand

Emergencies can happen anywhere, which is why it’s important to always be prepared. It only takes a second to slide on black ice and crash, or find yourself buried in a snow bank when visibility is poor. In case the worst should happen, keep an emergency kit in your car with the following:

  • road flares,
  • first aid supplies,
  • a flashlight,
  • a warm blanket,
  • a protein bar or other long-lasting snack,
  • sand or cat litter for traction, and
  • a handheld shovel.

Winter driving is unavoidable, but that doesn’t mean you can’t stay safe when you’re out on the road. Following these driving tips will help you be ready for whatever winter has to offer.

Get your snow tire discount

The insurance experts at Mitchell & Whale would be pleased to help you get your discount for driving with snow tires. Give us a call at 1-800-731-2228 or email us at

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Mitch Team

The articles you'll find on the Mitch blog are all the result of a team effort, contributed to by one or more of our RIBO licensed insurance brokers and/or other Ontario insurance experts. Contributors to our blog include:

  • Adam Mitchell (RIBO) - President and CEO of Mitch Insurance Brokers
  • Nick Kidd (RIBO) - Chief innovation officer at Mitch, & director of business insurance
  • Alex Gemmiti (BSc, CIP, RIBO) - Service team lead at Mitch Insurance
  • Jesica Ryzynski (RIBO) - Insurance broker, claims specialist, and account manager at Mitch Insurance

Learn more about the Mitch Team

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