How to Prepare for Winter Driving

I watch the snow fall down from my office window and I’m reminded of the spring ‘in like a lion, out like a lamb‘ reference, and wonder if it applies to this time of year as well. After all, we’ve seen a 20 degree drop and 20 inches of snow in just the last 10 hours. It’s our first official dump of the white stuff here in Alberta – a little late this year, but Mother Nature seems to making up for her tardiness with full force.

I look away from the window and hop onto Facebook, a local news page just updated with many collision reports on city streets and highways. It reinforces the fact that Canadian winters are dark, cold and unpredictable. Driving in winter weather – snow, ice, wet and cold – creates a great challenge for drivers.

Welcome Winter … said with all the sarcasm it deserves.

how to prepare for Winter Driving, get your car in winter mode with these easy tips to ensure safety

Soon I’ll have to leave the warm refuge of my house and trek my way through snow-filled dark streets. My oldest has cheerleading practice, and by the time we leave, it’ll be as dark as the middle of the night.

Did you know that there’s twice as many hours of darkness in November as compared to darkness hours in June, with even more than that, through the winter months?

The weather and wanting to hibernate doesn’t stop life as usual and I {along with so many other parents} have to drive every day, in more hours of darkness than we’d like. School drop-off and pick-up, shopping, errands, appointments, cheerleading, dance, gymnastics. Rinse and repeat.

Yet, all this driving during our long winter months in Canada, doesn’t have to come with so much stress. There are ways to prepare and arm yourself against the elements that flail themselves at you – and your car. 


• During the dark winter nights make sure to drive with low-beam headlights on. Not only are they brighter than daytime running lights but turning them on also activates the tail lights. Ultimately, this makes your vehicle more visible.
• Upgrade your headlights to SYLVANIA SilverStar® ULTRA. In fact, replace them in pairs even if only one of them is looking dim. If one bulb is failing, the other is likely not far behind. Also, because they dim over time, pair replacement ensures the best possible performance so there isn’t an uneven field of illumination. That’s hard on the eyes for anyone!
• Verify your car has 4 matching winter tires and schedule installation when the temperature drops below 7 degrees celcius.
• Switch to winter wiper blades, you’ll be thankful you did when you need them.
• Equip your vehicle with a winter survival kit and identify emergency arrangements beforehand.
• Make sure tires, battery, brakes, cooling and heating systems, electrical and exhaust systems and belts and hoses are in good working order.
• Keep your gas tank above half-full at all times.

Why SYLVANIA SilverStar® ULTRA headlights? Snowy conditions means that spotting motorists is a challenge, therefore visibility {both seeing and being seen} is crucial. SYLVANIA SilverStar® ULTRA Headlights allow drivers to see farther, see wider and see better.

These powerful headlights enhance your driving experience by increasing your visibility at night by providing crisp, clear and bright lighting, allowing you to see any obstacles in your path.

Earlier this year I joked with my husband that I was getting so old, all because I was finding it harder to focus while driving at night. I found myself squinting more and more, and that fact – scared me. My eye doctor had said my eyes were perfectly fine, so I wasn’t sure what the issue was and just avoided driving at night in an effort to cope.

SYLVANIA SilverStar Ultra headlights winter safe driving canada

We recently switched to SYLVANIA SilverStar® ULTRA headlights and it turns out, I was worrying and aging myself, all for nothing. It was the headlights on my car that were causing all the problems, and limiting my night vision. In turn, I was putting myself and others at risk. I feel awful knowing this now, yet hopefully with my confession, others will do the switch and not take the chance I did.

A view of a car

Easy to install, these headlights greatly improved both my distance and peripheral vision. It was like, an astonishing change that shocked me quite a bit. The colour temperature of the SYLVANIA SilverStar® ULTRA headlights is 4100K, which is an approximation of natural daylight at noon. 

ULTRA_HAZARD headlightsphoto: SYLVANIA

Approximately 70% of your headlight usage occurs from October through March when we drive to and from work with our headlights on and, in general, drive more in darkness. What most people don’t realize is that headlights dim over time. If you cannot remember the last time you replaced them, now is a good time to do so!

Safe winter driving requires that drivers remain calm, focused and alert. Upgrading your vehicle with winter friendly features including brighter headlights will add comfort to your drive and relieve stress.

I would recommend SYLVANIA SilverStar® ULTRA headlights to anyone, and I’m not a car fanatic. Just a Mom that drives a lot, and wants to do so as safely as possible.

You can get your SYLVANIA SilverStar® ULTRA headlights at Canadian Tire & PartSource. 

Have you prepared your car for winter yet?


This is a sponsored post yet, as always, my opinions are 100% my own.



  1. I always dread the first snow of the season. Everyone always forgets how to drive in the snow.

  2. I’m thankful that my husband is a mechanic and a tow driver, but still a mechanic does not like working on his own stuff, so every year he listens to me nag till I get my winter tires on and what but even though you are all ready for the weather it’s the other person you need to watch out for too, you need to drive according to the weather and be alert

    1. I was thinking that would be handy but I guess not so much, lol
      Good point, you always have to be aware of your surroundings!

  3. I used to live in Idaho where snow driving was a daily occurrence! SO glad I now live in AZ and don’t have to worry about driving in the snow this winter!

  4. Not yet but I woke to snow this morning so it’s on my mind. Funny, I was at wallyville last night replacing a head light and was told not to replace them in pairs. I’m kinda regretting it now – I wanted to upgrade to those but they were over $50 for 2, it’s probably worth it in sight but now I have 1 brand new bulb.


  5. I just put my winter tires on. I have an emergency kit and a bag of salt in the trunk.

  6. My husband winterizes our car every year. He has the tires swapped out before the first snowfall without fail.

  7. I just had to change a headlight but I wasn’t aware that the brand made that much difference. I usually do prepare my car for winter but the one thing I forget is the winter wipers. I had best get some of those soon.

  8. I always dreaded this when I lived in Chicago. Now, living in Vegas, so don’t miss it one bit 😉

  9. We just installed these recently on our truck and they put out a really nice amount of light though I feel bad for oncoming traffic. This time of year you really need good lighting due to the deer population.

  10. When we lived on the North East I would have to go through a checklist like that. Wow, never easy driving in the snow and freezing rain. Tire pressure was always something so important. Thanks for sharing.

  11. I grew up in the snow i dont think i could drive in it. I do recall having to wake up extra early to clear the ice off the windows and allow the car to warm up. So glad i live in the city now.

  12. We also got the rude winter arrival. One day was all fall like then it was FREEZING and nasty hard slush snow everywhere. I have my winter tires on already thankfully. Got them on 3 days before winter arrived. Never heard of switching your wiper blades though. Going to look into that.

  13. I am so grateful to live in Az during the winter! but, as a Utah native I totally know how important this is! Washer fluid that won’t freeze is a huge one for me, you regret that one pretty quick if you forget!

  14. Although our winters here in Vancouver are pretty mild by comparison, I appreciate the preparation tips for getting our car ready and safe.

  15. I almost never have to deal with this since I am a desert dweller. But when I have to drive in snow, or especially ice, I freak out lol!

  16. I wish everyone could read this!! I’m from Toronto Canada and we get our share of snow, but yet every snowfall we have people out on the roads that shouldn’t be driving good weather never-mind the snow!!

  17. Thank you for all your common-sense safety tips to prepare for winter driving. My husband has always prepared our vehicle for winter. We usually do not drive too far now because we live in a small city and almost all our needs may be met there.
    I bought a emergency kit for our car some years ago and also for our adult children. I guess that is something I can now do for my adult grandchildren.

  18. I’m on the East Coast and it’s snowing pretty heavy this morning. Luckily I’ve already got my winter tires on, so I’m well prepared.

  19. I’m from Victoria (the land of no snow), but I’ll be working up logging roads in Interior BC this winter – it will be my first experience driving in snow! I’m nervous, but appreciated your tips! Thanks! 🙂

  20. Great tips but my favorite way to prepare for winter driving is to close the garage door and refuse to leave the house! HATE driving in snow and ice!

  21. Thank you for the great tips Tammi, We are all set now for the winter driving conditions!

  22. I’m always pretty early with getting my winter tires on, I’d hate for it to snow and have summer tires on my car – those are those other people on the roads driving at 30 or maybe 40 km/hr in a 60 zone – I can’t blame them for driving slowly, they must be petrified. Another thing is that if you wait until the first heavy snow fall, appointments are all gone (which is what my son did and he still has summer tires on, I’ll be relieved when his appointment comes around)

  23. We usually put our winter tires on without fail before Thanksgiving as we have to travel north for Thanksgiving and always a chance of snow. Plus it is required on highways here come Oct 1st. This year we didn’t go and then had vehicle troubles when it would not start the day of the appointment to get tires on. And of course after having it towed down there it started fine for them.

  24. Would love to be to change headlights in my Enclave but have a feeling its hard to get to.

  25. i have heard about these head lights! will have to check into it. happy we are finally getting winter tires put on our car

  26. I try and not move out of the house in the winter!! I hate driving on a clear day let alone a messy one 🙂

  27. This year, I am making sure I am prepared! I slid off the road last year and my car got stuck in a snow bank. Wasn’t fun. On top of that, my cell phone was dead and I was in the middle of nowhere. Thankfully, some nice people pulled over and let me call a tow. What a mess, lol.

  28. Some really great tips we put our winter tires on last week ad will be getting new blades tomorrow.

  29. As I am required to drive as a part of my job thankfully my employee has supplied me with an emergency kit for my car.

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