Winter Driving Safety

During the winter months, Montreal experiences severe weather conditions including snowstorms, freezing rain and extremely cold temperatures.

NOTE: As of December 15, 2008, all passenger vehicles in Quebec require snow tires during the winter months. Itís the law!

The CPR Instructorís Network reminds drivers, especially those who travel long distances on secluded roads, they should be vigilant in their preparation for winter driving conditions by preparing an emergency car kit. Such a kit can save your life or someone else's.

Vehicle Winter Kit


Phone list of friends, family, doctors, neighbours and towing companies

Flashlights and spare batteries

Candles and all weather matches

Windshield scraper

Blankets booster cables and road flares


A bag of sand


High energy bars

An extra set of boots and socks

A first aid kit and fire extinguisher

Lock de-icer in the car and also in a carry bag you keep with you

Keep a neon coloured towel/sheet in your car. Use it to attract attention

Keep up-to-date maps

Before driving during the winter remember these tips:


Get a weather and road condition reports.

Consider waiting until warmer weather arrives if conditions are expected to be extreme.

Keep your vehicle in top mechanical condition.

Keep the gas tank filled - it not only prevents moisture but will also add weight to the vehicle making it more stable in slippery conditions.

Keep a bag of sand - it also adds weight and can also be used to add traction if the vehicle gets stuck.

On long trips tell someone your itinerary and keep to the planned route.

Determine an estimated time of arrival, activating a responsible person to seek help should you not arrive within an hour of this time.

If in distress, flash your headlights and brake lights.

In a snowstorm, drive in a convoy if possible with good distance between vehicles. Keep the wheels of your vehicle in the path of the vehicle in front of you.

If the car is idling, keep the window open slightly to prevent carbon monoxide build-up.

Take a winter/defensive driving course.

Take a CPR and First Aid course.

Know how to change a tire, check and add oil and the other fluids on your vehicle.

Inspect tires, windshield wiper blades and have the exhaust system inspected once a year.

Look out for deer, snowplows and salt/sand trucks.

Clear all windows and exterior mirrors of snow and ice.



Under no circumstances idle a vehicle in a garage.


Never idle vehicle near windows or doors - carbon monoxide can seep into the house.


If in an accident involving power lines, do not exit the vehicle and notify the local power company immediately.


If you smell gas after a collision turn vehicle off immediately and notify the closest Fire Service.


Never drink and drive!