With winter quickly approaching, new immigrants to Ontario will need to brush up on their winter driving skills or in many cases, develop their winter driving skills. Snow, sleet and slush can be strangers to new comers to Ontario from countries such as China, India, and the Philippines. For many, snow will be a novelty when it falls…. until they have to drive in it!
Angelo DiCicco, director of the Young Drivers of Canada – Toronto Centres GTA, recently had the opportunity to discuss winter driving skills with immigrants primarily from China and Hong Kong at the Welcome Centre Immigrant Services in Markham, Ontario. For many in the group, snow did not seem to be such a big deal until Mr. DiCicco showed them a few images of adverse snow conditions that would even rattle a seasoned driver.
“Leave space, space is free”
chimed Mr. DiCicco during his presentation with Jim Kilpatrick, Manager Collisionfree! Driver Improvement – Young Drivers of Canada.
“By leaving space you have the ability to make decisions and not just react to the potential problem. After all, what do we have alot of in Canada, SPACE!”
Defensive Winter Driving Lessons for Your Safety Program
Although the concept seems simple, most drivers forget that winter driving is a whole new ballgame. You can’t react as quickly as you can on a dry road, because you need to deal with the elements. Snowy, slippery conditions require a greater reaction time. You will need more space to stop your vehicle, to move into another lane and drive slower to navigate the roads.
Being prepared for winter driving also includes preparing your vehicle, including your tires. Mr. Kilpatrick explained how winter tires work in comparison to regular tires and how they can make your life easier when you drive in winter conditions. Mr. DiCicco provided a word of advice when it comes to changing your tires,
“Remember on Remembrance Day to change to winter tires, and similarl , April Fool’s Day is the day to change back to regular tires.”
In addition to leaving more space between you and the next driver, Mr. Kilpatrick highlighted the importance of preparing yourself for a journey in the snow, including wearing proper footwear. Bulky boots, although acceptable if you need to get out of the car, can get caught between the accelerator and brake. Mr. Kilpatrick suggested keeping a pair of boots in the vehicle, but driving in footwear that is comfortable and will allow you to access the necessary pedals while driving.
Young Drivers of Canada Winter Driving School Program
For these new immigrants who have chosen Ontario as their new home, winter driving skills are top of mind. Young Drivers of Canada provides a specific course on winter driving skills which includes an in class portion and an on road program. For details, contact Angelo DiCicco (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Jim Kilpatrick (Jim@ydtoronto.com) at Young Drivers Toronto Centre, 416-322-7000 or visit www.yd.com