Winter Driving Tip #3: Avoiding Over Confidence in All Wheel Drive
These days, more and more vehicles are coming equipped with all wheel drive. It can be a great asset but it can also breed over-confidence in drivers, particularly when it comes to winter driving.
The WPS says this over-confidence comes from the fact that even on an icy road, an all wheel drive vehicle can pick up speed quite quickly and smoothly, leading drivers to think they've got great traction despite slick surfaces.
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The problem is when it comes to stopping almost all vehicles, even those equipped with all wheel drive, react pretty much the same if you're driving too fast for the conditions - that is, that they will slip on the road and enter a skid or oversteer.
Even if you don't enter into a skid, the stopping distance will be dramatically increased than if you had simply been driving to the conditions. Constable Ken Azaransky of the WPS shows us how easy it is to accelerate in an all wheel drive vehicle but how difficult it is to stop as intended in the next video.
Winter Driving Tip #4: Trusting in your vehicle's Electronic Stability Control system
Since 2011, all vehicles manufactured in Canada must be equipped with Electronic Stability Control or ESC, which is essentially a computer that controls your vehicle's braking and acceleration during times of instability.
Simply put, your car's ESC system is going to help you stay in control of your vehicle when you suddenly need to brake or swerve to avoid a hazard or an obstacle.
The ESC can detect when your steering doesn't match the direction of your vehicle or when you've lost control of your steering.
When that happens, it will automatically brake individual wheels, reduce power to the engine, or both.
According to its website, Transport Canada "has been testing vehicles with ESC since 2004 and found that the improvement in vehicle stability due to ESC was impressive. Data gathered by Transport Canada indicates that vehicles equipped with ESC were involved in approximately 30 per cent fewer severe collisions involving loss of control than non-ESC equipped vehicles. Based on 2006 collision data, if all passenger vehicles were equipped with ESC, there would be at least 225 fewer deaths and 755 fewer people seriously injured on our roads each year."
In the following video, Constable Ken Azaransky of the Winnipeg Police Service shows us why you can trust in your ESC system.