Are You Ready For Winter? Things To Consider If You Are Driving

Did you know that drivers must obey Winter and Tire chain signs throughout the Province of BC from October 1st thru March 31st? You may think that this doesn’t affect us because we live on Vancouver Island. It might surprise you that roads such as Hwy 1 (Malahat), Hwy 18 (Lake Cowichan) and Hwy 14 (Sooke) are all designated roads where this legislation can be enforced.


BC accepts “mountain/snowflake” or “M+S all-season” tires with at least 3.5 mm tread as winter tires. Tires marked with M+S offer better traction that summer tires but are less effective than mountain/snowflake tires in severe winter conditions. Using chains with summer tires is not an acceptable substitute for winter tires on signed highways.

                                                       mud-and-snow-symbol             winter

Should you go beyond the signs without the proper equipment, you may be turned around and subject to a fine.

Winter driving tips:

  1. Maintain a safe following distance – It takes longer to stop on a slippery road. Look ahead and leave plenty of distance between your vehicle and one in front of you (suggested at least four seconds)
  2. Lower your speed to match road conditions – Posted speed limits are the maximum speed under ideal conditions. It may be safer to drive below the posted speed limit in winter.
  3. Watch for black ice – Slow your speed when approaching areas that may be icy, including bridges, overpasses, and shaded areas, which may freeze sooner than others in cold weather. Even though the road looks clear, be aware that ice may be present
  4. See and be seen – Always drive with your headlights on and ensure that all of the lights on your car are in working order.
  5. Check your tire pressure regularly (at least once per month) throughout the cold weather seasons.

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