Preparing for Winter Driving in Ontario

Monday, December 4, 2017

Depending on where you are in Ontario you may have already experienced your first snowfall of the winter season. These conditions can make driving difficult if you’re not prepared.

Staying safe on the road takes some planning. Some steps you can take to get ready for winter driving are:

  • Install 4 winter tires for better road stability in poor conditions (all-season tires are not the same as winter tires).
  • Get regular car maintenance check-ups.
  • Pack an emergency kit - flashlight, jumper cables, shovel, traction mats (emergency tire grip mat), first aid kit, and windshield washer fluid.
  • Check weather and road conditions before you head out.
  • Use Track My Plow to see what highways have been snow plowed.
  • Visit Ontario 511 to see road closures, traffic volume, and driving conditions in your area.

In icy weather it will take you longer to get to your destination because of the slippery road conditions. It’s important to give yourself extra time when planning a trip.


You need to ensure there is enough space between you and the car in front of you. This is important because if you break suddenly, your car may slide.

Sliding happens when the car tires lose grip from the road. This is common in icy or wet conditions. According to the Ministry of Transportation, most skids happen because you are driving too fast or are not paying attention and have to break suddenly.
If you do lose control of your car and start to slide make sure to steer your car in the direction of the skid.

Winter tire discounts

Insurance companies in Ontario offer auto insurance discounts if you upgrade all your tires from all-season tires to winter tires.

You can learn more about this topic in our article What do I need to know about driving in the winter.