Mother Nature can make the roads tricky for even the most seasoned drivers.
When the temperature drops, it’s usually a sign that snow and ice aren’t far behind. When roads get more slippery, driving becomes more complicated which unfortunately means more accidents.
The winter season can see more accident claims than other times of the year. For drivers, winterproofing is key to staying safe during winter travels. For buyers, the threats of the winter season highlight the importance of checking a vehicle’s history before buying a used car.
Taking some winter precautions can do more than just help prevent accidents – it can also prevent damage that negatively impacts your used car’s value when the time comes to sell.
The hazards of winter driving
Accidents are more likely to occur on snowy, icy roads. Some people think that taking their time is enough to avoid the dangers of winter driving. But no vehicle, regardless of its speed or features, can handle perfectly well on ice. Even careful drivers could find themselves in a snowbank causing dents and scratches that will impact their vehicle’s value.
Claim rates reflect winter road hazards
In a season where roads are arguably at their most dangerous, it is understandable that accidents would be more common. Canadian insurance companies report a 49 percent rise in vehicle collision related claims in December and January. Most of these consist of a driver hitting another car or getting hit themselves (each making up around 22 percent of the total claims). The rest are attributed to single-car accidents and acts of nature, which are less common.
If you own a car, you know that accidents present many problems. Even if you’re only involved in a minor collision that leaves you with no injuries, the value of your car will be impacted. Winterproofing helps increase the chances you’ll avoid accidents, and offers additional benefits to you and your vehicle.
Prepare your car for winter to prevent damage
Other than cautious driving, the best way to prevent winter-related car accidents is to get your car prepared for winter. You wouldn’t wear your flip-flops to the skating rink, so why would you consider driving on winter roads in summer tires. If you’re wondering when to start, it’s a good idea to have these things taken care of a month or so before the weather starts to get bad
The rubber compound in all-season tires starts to harden when temperatures drop below 7° Celsius, so if you don’t have winter tires yet, get ahead of the curve and start shopping for them now. After all, there’s a reason tire shops are so busy when the frost hits in October and November.
Planning ahead ensures that you aren’t caught off guard by a storm that comes earlier than your area’s normal weather patterns.
You can find more tips here for winterizing your car, but it’s a good idea to stick to the basics. Make sure all the components are in working order, apply wax to protect the exterior if necessary and make sure your snow tires are up to the task.
When you take these steps, you do more than ready your vehicle for winter and protect yourself from a collision – you also help prevent a crash that will reduce your used car’s value.
Detecting hidden damage from winter accidents
Always get all the information possible before you buy a used car. While most sellers are honest and just trying to get a fair price for their used car, there might be a few out there trying to hide information about accident history in hopes of getting a higher price.
Get a CARFAX Canada Vehicle History Report and a pre-purchase inspection to find out if it’s been in any winter-related crashes (or damage that occurred any other time of year).
Winter driving presents many challenges, and increases the chance of accidents. When you’re looking to purchase a vehicle, double-checking can ensure you aren’t unknowingly purchasing a vehicle that sustained harm on an icy winter road.
Download our free Used Car Buying Guide for information to help you buy a used car with confidence.