January 15, 2018 5:25 pm
Updated: January 15, 2018 6:00 pm

Slow down: Tips on driving safe in the winter

WATCH: Winter driving can be daunting at times, even for the most experienced drivers. Global's Felicia Parrillo went back to driving school Tuesday to get some winter driving safety tips from the experts. Global's Felicia Parrillo reports.

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Montreal winter is in full swing and so far, it’s already brought plenty of variable weather — snowstorms, freezing rain and near arctic temperatures.

At times, a perfect storm of tricky driving conditions.

READ MORE: Winter storm blankets Montreal

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To cope with the obstacles that Mother Nature puts in our way, Morty’s driving instructor, Andrew Matthews, says the first thing to remember to do is slow down.

“At the beginning of winter, people tend to forget that they have to slow down and allow for extra braking distance,” said Matthews.

For students like 19-year-old Ashley Halikas, who is learning how to drive, the cold season can be intimidating.

“It’s really hard sometimes — scary, nerve-racking,” she said.

To calm those nerves, Matthews strongly suggests motorists to prepare their cars for winter — that includes winter tires, proper windshield wipers and lots of fluid.

READ MORE: Winter blast leaves Montreal drivers scrambling to change tires

Besides ensuring that the car is safe, he says another important thing to remember when driving in the winter is the road condition.

“Preparing for increased braking distance, slowing down more for sharp turns and starting off more gently with less pressure on the gas pedal to avoid spinning wheels,” said Matthews.

On an average winter day, CAA-Quebec responds to around 2,500 to 3,000 service calls.

READ MORE: Blowing snow creating dangerous road conditions, delayed flights in Montreal

But over the holidays, during the record cold snap that swept the province, CAA responded to 7,000 calls a day — totaling 91,000 calls in 13 days — setting a new record.

CAA says their winter calls mostly consist of drivers who need a battery boost. Other services needed during this time of year are tows or help to get out of snowbanks.

They stress that slowing down is the key to better winter driving.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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