Winter travel in Alberta can be stressful, whether it’s a short trip down the road or a trek across the province. Either way, it’s best to be prepared.
Helpful hints for winter travel
- Keep your vehicle well maintained, by meeting the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule. Members can use CAA AutoManager to manage your vehicle maintenance schedules.
- Familiarize yourself with your vehicle.
- Find out how everything works using AMA’s member-exclusive Auto Advisor.
Make sure your block heater is working properly. You can purchase a Plug Alive block heater tester from any AMA Centre.
- Find a reliable garage. Use an Approved Auto Repair Services (AARS) facility for quality workmanship at a fair price. Have them conduct a pre-winter check of your vehicle.
- Also, use our car care tips checklist to get ready for winter.
- Always drive on the top half of your tank in cold weather. This will ensure you have a supply of gas if you become stranded and need the engine for heat until help arrives. It also avoids potential problems due to condensation.
- Check weather conditions frequently.
Before you go
- Before you leave check the road conditions.
- Start your travels rested – driving in deteriorating conditions while tired isn’t safe.
- Make sure to eat before you leave and pack a snack.
- Tell someone where you are going and when you plan to get there.
- Take a fully charged cell phone with you.
- Start your trip with a full tank of gas.
- Adjust your driving to the conditions.
Try to stay on main roads. If the conditions are too treacherous, turn back or find safety quickly.
- Carry an emergency and first aid kit with you at all times. Check both kits periodically and replace or change items that lose their effectiveness.
- Increase your winter driving confidence by enrolling in an AMA Driver Improvement course.
Visit Transport Canada’s website for additional winter driving tips.
Find more information about getting your vehicle ready for winter by visiting the provincial government’s website.
Winter weather warnings
Environment Canada issues watches and advisories as winter conditions change. Warnings can include:
Warnings and their criteria from Environment Canada
- Blowing snow
- Flash freeze
- Freezing drizzle
- Freezing rain
- Snow squall
- Wind chill
- Winter storm