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December Driving In Canada  
User currently offlineMarcus From Mexico, joined Apr 2001, 1778 posts, RR: 2
Posted (11 years 7 months 3 weeks 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 1182 times:

My GF and I will be in Canada from DEC 22nd. to JAN 1st.....we will have a car to get arround and our hotel schedule takes us from Toronto to Quebec City and back to Montreal, flights are San Diego-Toronto and Montreal-Toronto-San Diego.......the problem is that I have never driven in the snow.......any pointers?.....any dumb things that as a tourist I might do while the locals take for granted?


Kids!....we are going to the happiest place on earth...TIJUANA! signed: Krusty the Clown
9 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineRadarbeam From Canada, joined Mar 2002, 1310 posts, RR: 4
Reply 1, posted (11 years 7 months 3 weeks 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 1166 times:

Just make sure that your car is equipped with winter tires and drive slower than the speed limits says. You'll find your own pace, if you don't feel comfortable just slow down. Usually when there's a snow storm everybody pretty much drive on the same lane on the highway, do the same, don't venture out in snow covered lanes. If your car will be sleeping outside try to get your hands on a shovel, a brush to clear the windows and some hot clothing. When you get to your car first start the engine, turn all the heaters on, then remove the snow. Also keep more distance with the car in front of you.



User currently offlineHepkat From Austria, joined Aug 2000, 2341 posts, RR: 2
Reply 2, posted (11 years 7 months 3 weeks 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 1166 times:

Marcus, if you've never driven in the snow, then in my opinion it would be reckless and dangerous for you to do so now in Canada for the first time. It takes special training and skills to maneuver a car on ice and snow, and this can only be learned after much practice. You'd be fooling yourself if you believe a car handles the same on dry pavement as it does on black ice. You have to use the brakes in an entirely different way. You might even have to engage the clutch or transmission, you might have to pump the brakes, you might have to steer in the opposite direction from that intended.

If you're not a trained or experienced winter driver, you might be a danger on the roads.


User currently offlineRai From Canada, joined Feb 2008, 0 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (11 years 7 months 3 weeks 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 1163 times:

I'm very experienced at winter driving. Drive slow and keep more space between the car ahead of you, as mentioned above. Winter tires "help", but I think they're somewhat overrated and things are way more unpredictable when driving in such conditions. You should also be more alert of other drivers because oftentimes it's them who are the ones driving wrecklessly. I got into an accident once because some woman ahead of me made a sharp and unexpected lane change and lost control on an icy road. She didn't even signal. I think that's the biggest problem in terms of winter driving.

And be very careful of Montreal drivers! They're horrible!


User currently offlineMarcus From Mexico, joined Apr 2001, 1778 posts, RR: 2
Reply 4, posted (11 years 7 months 3 weeks 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 1153 times:

You have to use the brakes in an entirely different way. You might even have to engage the clutch or transmission, you might have to pump the brakes, you might have to steer in the opposite direction from that intended.
**************************

Yes I know that......the good thing is my GF learned to drive in the north of France and arround the Alps so we figured she might do most of the driving, as for changing gears to slow the car I used to do that with my VW bug when the brakes would start giving out, and the handling was very tail happy, specially in the mud and grease covered streets of my hometown, still I don't think is a comparison but I don't consider myslef completely ignorant.

It's going to be rental car (medium sized)......with tire chains



Kids!....we are going to the happiest place on earth...TIJUANA! signed: Krusty the Clown
User currently offlineDripstick From Canada, joined Dec 2001, 2364 posts, RR: 21
Reply 5, posted (11 years 7 months 3 weeks 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 1151 times:

If your rental looks like this...



...you'll have no worries.

Welcome to Canada, Eh! Keep your stick on the ice.

Dripstick



What's another word for thesaurus?
User currently offlineMls515 From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 3076 posts, RR: 9
Reply 6, posted (11 years 7 months 3 weeks 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 1135 times:



Your rental car will probably have an automatic transmission, right? Just go slow, but not too slow as to mess up the pace of other traffic. If possible, try to find an open parking lot to test out the characteristics of the car if it happens to be snowy when you're there.

But my guess the Canadians are pros at removing snow so if it's not storming you won't have to worry about it.


User currently offlineAirontario From Canada, joined Aug 2001, 549 posts, RR: 1
Reply 7, posted (11 years 7 months 3 weeks 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 1118 times:

Don't worry if you're driving to quebec the highways are well plowed and the roads in toronto are also well plowed. But still go slower then you usually would.

User currently offlineArrow From Canada, joined Jun 2002, 2676 posts, RR: 2
Reply 8, posted (11 years 7 months 3 weeks 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 1111 times:
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Here's a little glitch I discovered years ago when the first front-wheel drives came out (applies to rear-wheel too, but not quite as bad).

When you're trying to stop on an icy road, the engine wants to keep the wheels turning, and it makes it harder to brake effectively. One pair of wheels can lock while the others don't, and that's bad for control. If it's a manual, disengage the clutch, if its an automatic, pop it into neutral -- that way the brakes are much better at applying even braking pressure to all four wheels, and you'll come to a stop a little sooner, and without losing control.

You won't want to go very far with chains on unless there's two feet of unplowed snow on the road (unlikely), and you won't need them. But snow tires are a definite advantage (there's no such thing as an all-season) -- they can get you stopped (and started) more effectively than summers or all-seasons.
Last winter, on a ski trip, my 4-wheel drive sidekick was the only one of about 20 4wd vehicles that made it up a steep, snow-covered road to access a good ski trail. It was also the only 4wd that had snow tires on all 4 wheels. Four wheel drive by itself is no panacea -- connecting the engine to all 4 wheels does nothing to improve the traction on the ground. In fact -- an idiot in a 4wd drive is way more dangerous than the same idiot behind the wheel of a 2wd, because he can get the 4wd up to a good rate of speed before he realizes that his stopping ability hasn't changed one iota.

Have a good trip




Never let the facts get in the way of a good story.
User currently offlineWatewate From Canada, joined Nov 2000, 2284 posts, RR: 1
Reply 9, posted (11 years 7 months 3 weeks 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 1096 times:

Maybe it's just me, but I find that it doesn't really snow that heavy in December. If possible, stay off the roads when the snow is fresh. Once the snow plows have made their way, I find driving in snow is no more challenging than driving in rain.

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