Snowpocalapse 101: How To Survive Driving In The Snow In Metro Vancouver

Vancouver Guides
Snow storm

Some people cringe at the thought of it. Others live, breathe and worship the white stuff.

But most people don’t know how to drive in it.

Yup, we’re talking about snow. More specifically, the disaster that can ensue on the roads after a fresh dumping of snow. Don’t become another “Vancouver driver” stereotype. If you have trouble driving in the snowy madness, then you’re in luck. Just follow these safe driving tips to get you through the thick of the winter.

And hopefully avoid a chaotic, snow-induced car accident.

604 Now’s Safe Driving Tips for Snowy Roads

Operation Red Nose TriCities, Burnaby and New West/ Facebook

Operation Red Nose TriCities, Burnaby and New West/ Facebook

Lay off the Rum and Eggnog

Total given. However, some people hit the bottle hard during the holidays and think that driving is a good idea. It never is. Especially when snow and ice pile up on the streets. Your beer goggles will cloud your judgment and reflexes even more than usual, which is complete chaos in winter conditions. Do not drink and drive. Ever. In fact, Operation Red Nose will drive your vehicle for you. And they’re by donation! Give them a call, instead.

Get your vehicle winter ready

Okay, it may be a bit late for this tip. But you know what they say, better late than never! Take your car to good ole John at Budget and get a thorough check. Top up on wiper fluid, replace your battery, get any taillights fixed, and buy a new pair of windshield wipers.

Richard Thomas/ Flickr

Richard Thomas/ Flickr

Keep an emergency kit handy

Remember when we were little and had those tiny care packs at school in case of an earthquake? Well, this is sort of the same thing – except for your car. Your emergency kit should include jumper cables, a small shovel, a snow scraper and brush, snow salt, reflective clothing, gloves, water bottles, extra wiper fluid, heat packs, a first aid kit, and some type of non-perishable food. We suggest Clif bars since they’re delicious and filling, too.

Clear snow from your vehicle

Sounds like common sense, right? Wrong. There are at least 20 vehicles on the road in front of you that have lazy drivers who chose not to brush the snow off their roof. This snow is evil. It will fly off their car and create a moment of temporary blindness in front of you that can be detrimental. Be a nice driver and brush off every bit of snow that tries to cling to your car.


Plan your route ahead of time

If you’re driving to a location that you aren’t super familiar with, be sure to map that trip out BEFORE you get into your car. Fussing with a cellphone GPS is the last thing you need to be doing on an icy road. Plus, cell phone use is illegal…so there’s that, too. If you’re really unsure about where you’re going, bring a friend along to navigate. Be sure to give yourself lots of time to get to where you need to go. And always have a fully charged cell phone, in case your route somehow ends up in a ditch.

Check road conditions and weather warnings

We live in a time where our phones are basically a detachable limb. Rather than scroll through dank memes all morning long, use your down time to research the road and weather conditions. Create a Bookmark of Environment Canada and DriveBC, and utilize them!

Drake/ Facebook

Drake/ Facebook

Drive slow and turn down your music

Some of us blast Drake and The Weeknd songs wherever we go. However, winter is not the time to drown out the sounds of the road or create more of a distraction for other drivers – we’ve all experienced those dirty looks from fellow drivers who are somehow disgusted in our taste of music. And be sure to slow down. A heavy foot can lead to an uncontrollable skid.

Don’t tailgate – especially road safety vehicles

If you tailgate on the regular, you’re an A-hole. But you’ll be an accident prone A-hole if you tailgate on a snowy road. Your car is bound to have less time to stop when it’s sliding around, so leave extra space between you and the vehicles in front of you at all times. If a snow plow or salt vehicle happens to be in front of you (yes, that sucks), leave even more room. Imagine crazy amounts of salt spitting out at you. Not fun.

Karen/ Flickr

Karen/ Flickr

Fill up on gas

It’s utterly embarrassing running out of gas while driving. People who pass you by are 100% laughing at you. Now, it may be a funny story if you ran out of gas that one time you were stuck driving your awful Tinder date home, and she wouldn’t stop talking about her five cats the entire time you waited for BCAA to come to the rescue. However, it’s no joke when you are stranded at an icy intersection and blocking others who are struggling to drive, too. More gas means a heavier car, which will help slow you down and lead to an overall safer drive.

Wear comfy clothes

But not pajamas. My dad once told me to never wear pajamas when driving somewhere, even if it’s a quick trip, in case you get into an accident. People will frown upon your Spongebob fleecy pants (true story). It is a good idea to wear nonrestrictive clothing so that you are capable of checking your blind spots. Slap some sweats on and layer up in scarves. Don’t worry boys, you can wear a cute scarf too. No judgment here.

Kal Tire/ Facebook

Kal Tire/ Facebook

Definitely buy winter tires

You should already have winter tires on your vehicle at this point. If you don’t, go buy some right friggin’ now. And all-season tires do NOT count. Seriously. The best driving tip for snowy roads: if you don’t have winter tires, or more importantly, if you don’t know how to drive in the snow, just don’t do it. You are the reason the roads are World War 3 during the winter.

And you don’t want to end up like these drivers in Montreal, do you?


Stay safe this winter, everyone! 

If you have any more safe driving tips for snowy/icy road conditions, drop us a comment below.

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