November 9, 2018 4:59 pm

Getting ready for winter driving involves more than just changing to snow tires

CAA prepares its members for winter driving with tips and new ground breaking technology.

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Winter is approaching quickly and if you haven’t swapped out your all season radials for snow tires, it’s about time you did.

A good snow tire will improve your stopping time by 25 per cent on winter roads — that’s about two car lengths — but tires aren’t the only thing to consider in your vehicle’s fall maintenance plan.

READ MORE: London area gets its first dose of winter weather

A first question: do you even have a plan?

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If not, Kaitlyn Furse of the Canadian Automobile Association (CAA) has one for you.

“At this point, you want to be thinking about that preventative maintenance,” she said. The key things you need to check are your tires, your windshield wipers, your fluids, your brakes and your battery.

In the last few years, CAA has noticed a 25 per cent increase in roadside assistance due to battery failure. A car battery’s life expectancy is three to five years, but sub-zero temperatures can diminish your battery strength by 30 per cent, and that can leave you stranded.

“Nobody wants to be the one getting into their car early in the morning and have that battery not work” Furse sdays.

Even if you’ve done all you can to prevent a roadside emergency, there’s no guarantee your drive will be trouble free. A fully stocked emergency kit can go a long way.

“We recommend having things that are winter-oriented, like a small shovel, extra blanket, a pair of mitts — maybe some water and non-perishable food items,” Furse suggests.

READ MORE: Myth-busting winter driving wives’ tales

If you end up calling CAA for assistance and notice a speedy response, it’s no accident.

“We have a new predictive analytic system that allows CAA to see, on a map, when and where breakdowns occur.”

This allows CAA to move trucks closer to those high-risk areas. The technology taps into 115 years of roadside assistance data, weather conditions and traffic data. CAA reports a 98 percent accuracy rate and says the technology will only get better as the smart software continues to learn.

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

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