Rental cars offer a number of benefits, including flexibility and convenience. Your next road trip can be a great success if you book the right rental car, and you will get to explore different parts of Vancouver at your own pace. Road trips are exciting, but driving in the winter is different than driving during the other seasons and you have to be prepared. 

Snow-covered landscapes are beautiful, as is the charm of winter and while the season makes for a truly enchanting sight, travelling during the winter does present drivers with unique challenges. If you will be embarking on a road trip this winter, you must prioritize safety at all times. This means ensuring your vehicle is equipped with the necessary winter gear checking weather conditions, and planning your route in advance. Taking the right steps will help you stay safe on the road, and you will have an enjoyable trip as a result.

Ready to navigate Vancouver’s winter roads with a rental car? The following guide will help you remain safe:

Complete a thorough vehicle inspection

It is a must that you conduct a thorough inspection of your vehicle before you hit the road. You need to pay attention to the tire tread and pressure because cold weather can reduce tire pressure and affect traction. You should also ensure your tires are properly inflated and tread sufficiently for icy or snowy conditions. 

You should also check battery health because cold temperatures can be harsh on car batteries, and you need to check the battery’s charge. Don’t forget about fluid levels, brake system and lights and signals. Ensure your car’s fluids, including oil, coolant, brake fluid, and windshield washer fluid, are at the appropriate levels and make sure the brakes are in good condition. Icy roads will require responsive brakes for safe driving. Finally, test all lights, including headlights, brake lights, and turn signals and replace any burnt-out bulbs. 

All reputable rental car companies will conduct thorough inspections before renting a car to a customer and will make sure every component is safe and in working order. It doesn’t hurt to ask about these aspects, however, to ensure you are renting a car that is suitable for a winter drive. 

Prepare an emergency kit

You must equip your rental car with an emergency kit containing essential items like blankets and warm clothing, non-perishable snacks and water and a first aid kit. In the event of an unexpected breakdown, it is crucial to remain warm, and you will need extra blankets, gloves, hats and jackets. Keeping a supply of high-energy snacks and bottled water is also a must, as this will help you remain nourished during long road trips or unforeseen delays. 

Your first aid kit should include basic medical supplies like pain relievers and bandages, and you should always have a shovel and ice scraper in your car during the winter, as these tools are very important in the event of snow or ice buildup. 

Monitor the weather

Staying informed about weather conditions is a wise choice, and you need to monitor the situation to ensure it is safe to drive. If the weather is very bad, you can consider leaving earlier or later or making other travel arrangements. Safety must be prioritized, and you should take advantage of weather apps to remain informed of any potential hazards. 

If you see severe weather is forecasted, you can consider delaying your trip or choosing an alternative route. 

Focus on communication and navigation

Make sure you have a fully charged phone before you depart on your road trip, and bring a car charger with you. You should also have a reliable GPS navigation system to stay on course and check for real-time traffic updates and road closures. 

You need to have access to people at all times, and you cannot leave for your trip with a phone that does not have enough battery. This can be both dangerous and scary and is a situation that must be avoided. 

Drive safely

This is an obvious statement, but its importance cannot be emphasized enough. We all have a responsibility to drive safely because the road is a shared space, and we all have to do our part to remain safe. 

Reduce your speed in adverse weather conditions like snow, rain, or fog to maintain control of your vehicle and avoid accidents. Driving at a slower speed will give you more time to react in unexpected situations, and you will be less likely to get into an accident. 

You should also increase the following distance to ensure safe driving in poor weather conditions. Leave extra space between your car and the vehicle in front of you to allow for safe braking and reduce the risk of a collision. The use of winter tires is a must, as these are specially designed to enhance traction on icy or snowy roads. Consider investing in a set of winter tires for your car, as they can significantly affect a vehicle’s handling and safety on the road. 

Finally, make sure you break and accelerate gently. Sudden movements like hard braking or accelerating can lead to skidding, especially on slippery roads, which is why it is so important to use smooth and gentle motions when braking or accelerating in harsh weather conditions. This will allow you to remain in control of your vehicle and avoid accidents. 

Bottom Line

Winter road trips can be fun, but careful preparation is required to ensure safety on the road. Taking the right steps will eliminate potential risks, and you will get to your destination comfortably and safely. Safety must be prioritized above all else because driving in the winter means you will come across icy and snowy roads, and a commitment to safety is required from all drivers. 

Looking into Vancouver Car Rental? Choose the Experts

Are you interested in renting a car in Vancouver, BC? Expo Rent a Car offers cheap car rentals, and we will help you get to your destination this winter. If you need to rent a car and want affordable rates, contact us today!