Tag Archives: Winter Driving

Peace of Mind on the Road

If you are a driver, you may have experienced a problem with your vehicle while out on the road. Whether your car won’t start, a flat tire, ran out of gas or locked your keys in your car. Whatever the situation might have been and whether your are an experienced driver or not, you know the immense amount of frustration and panic that most likely kicked in.  Think others would feel the same?  You’re probably right. Why not help out a fellow driver by offering a Dr. Hook prepaid gift card. This takes the hassle out of trying to figure out what to do when caught in a jam. Plus, providing that extra financial help during an emergency situation is an added bonus.

Not sure who to give it to? Dr. Hook offers complete roadside assistance to every type of vehicle, from cars to big rigs. We also provide roadside assistance to company vehicles.

Our employees are constantly trained, upgraded, and certified in all aspects of the Towing and Recovery Industry. All our calls are answered 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.  Make driving one step easier by offering someone a Dr. Hook pre-paid gift card.  You may conveniently purchase a gift card on our website or learn more about Roadside Assistance.

The Regrettable Perils of Winter in Winnipeg

Accidents are always regrettable, no matter whether they happen to a valued Dr. Hook customer or to a Dr. Hook employee.

The recent story of one of our employees intentionally neglecting damage he caused to a customer’s vehicle is something that we feel we must address, if only for our own peace of mind.

Dr. Hook does not employ the type of person who would ignore something like this. We consider ourselves to be a company with integrity, and the thousands of people that we help year-round can attest to the helpful and caring nature that we always strive to exhibit.

Our ratio of safety during particularly busy winters such as this one speaks for itself. Our employees do their best to assess situations in a matter of moments, knowing they have many other calls ahead of them. Our employees are only human – but we can assure you that they are not intent on making an already distressing situation worse for our customers.

This was not something that was done maliciously. This is precisely what Dr. Hook deals with on a daily basis – an accident. Never fun, never the preferred way to spend one’s day, but something that has to be dealt with nonetheless – and we feel that we did so fairly.

Beware the Re-Freeze!

We were so close… so very, very close to winter being over.

With warmer temperatures over the last few days, pavement and asphalt could be seen again on sidewalks and streets, or at least through murky puddles. Like little kids, we would happily splash through these mini basins of water as we drove to and fro. Sure, we were still digging ourselves out of another large snowfall, but the end was in sight – our warmer days were in sight and we would soon be in the clear.

Then Tuesday evening happened.

With temperatures dropping into the -20 region overnight, freezing once again became an issue on Winnipeg streets, and with that comes the everpresent reminder of cautious driving.

Unfortunately, this cycle isn’t looking like it will slow down any time soon.

With this in mind, we want to encourage you to be mindful of road – and especially highway conditions around Winnipeg. Blowing snow from the previous fall (and another forecast to be on its way next week) is going to make driving harder, along with melt-and-freeze temperatures that look to take us almost through the end of the month.

Should an emergency arise, don’t hesitate for a moment to call Winnipeg’s towing experts. We provide roadside assistance both in the city and outside the perimeter, and can help get you back on the road.

Thanks are Unneccessary but Appreciated

It’s often been said that a smile is all the thanks someone needs after doing a good deed; at Dr. Hook we believe this to be very true.

We often hear tales of this sort of gratitude from our clients after they have been helped from an unfortunate incident, but occasionally our drivers will also go above and beyond the call of duty – not for just rewards but because it is the right thing to do for the citizens of Winnipeg.

Such was the case last night.

This morning, Winnipeggers tuned into FAB 94.3 and heard Kelly Parker retell the story of one of our drivers who had knocked on his and other doors up and down his street, alerting him of the overnight parking ban while the city cleared residential streets of ice and snow.

Naturally, we were happy to hear that our operator had gone above and beyond in helping our city. We always like to see stories of our drivers doing a good deed in Winnipeg.

We would like to take this opportunity to remind Winnipeggers to be conscious of the overnight parking bans. If you’re not sure when your neighbourhood’s streets will be cleared, for an updated schedule from the City of Winnipeg and click here to find out which zone your home is situated in.

Do You Need Four-Wheel Drive?

While most of us are accustomed to having the option of upgrading a new automobile to four-wheel drive, recently, many makes and models are coming standard with four Wheel drive. Honda and Volkswagen are the first makers to bypass the idea of giving an option to customers and are only putting four-wheel drive on some models. Other makers are extending this traditionally SUV/truck option to their smaller, sedan models. Many still question whether this is actually a needed feature or just a way for car companies to make more money. There are many advantages and disadvantages to having four-wheel drive.

(1) Lack of crash tests studies
Although four-wheel drive increases traction, control and handling, it is a feature that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has not fully tested. Although “all”-wheel drive is considered a safety feature in many publications, NHTSA has not officially named “four”-wheel drive as a safety feature.

(2) Most people DO NOT need it
With a price tag close to $2000, four-wheel drive is a feature that rarely pays for itself. Unless you live in extreme climates or environments such as mountains, you will likely never need this feature. Typically, automobiles with front wheel drive fare just as well as four-wheel drive in snow. Blizzards and ice storms may require four-wheel drive, but most people do not leave the comfort of their home (and aren’t recommended to leave) during these conditions.

Before you decide on a new model and its features, realistically consider the situations you will find yourself. If you happen to be a park ranger in a mountain community, then four-wheel drive is required. If you are a commuter in a northern environment, most often, you will require a simple front-wheel drive automobile.

Winter Vehicle Equipment and Supply Checkup

Canadian winters can be challenging for even the most seasoned driver. Weather and road conditions can be unpredictable, which makes advanced driving skill vital. Drivers must have the ability to maneuver quickly and adjust their speed promptly. In winter conditions, this can be difficult. Without the proper equipment and control, it can be impossible.

The first rule is to be aware. Always drive a bit slower in winter conditions. Stay alert and aware of your surroundings and maintain control. This means maintaining control of your vehicle and your emotions.

To keep your car winter-ready, have your battery, belts, radiator, hoses, tire pressure, lights, brakes, exhaust system, heater, wipers and ignition system checked. Do this BEFORE the first storm.

Maintain enough washer fluid to last you through the winter. Washer fluid should be able to withstand -40 degrees Celsius.

Before your start your journey for the day, remove the snow and ice from your car. Skipping this step will ensure that ice goes flying into the windshield of the person behind you, possibly causing an accident.

Keep your gas tank above a quarter tank.

Check the tread on your tires. Be sure to check your spare tire with every oil change.

All season tires may be suitable in some areas, but winter tires are required in the northern-most parts of Canada. They improve traction on snow, ice and slush.

Be sure your car is equipped with: an ice scraper, shovel, traction sand, jumper cables, road flares, flashlight with extra batteries, fire extinguisher, extra blanket, non-perishable food items, candle and tin can and matches. These items will be required if you are stopped for more than an hour.

With holidays, family vacations and the warmth of a roaring fire, winter can be the greatest time of year. Being stranded on the side of the road is certainly not what we envision for ourselves. Be sure this doesn’t happen to you and always be prepared.

Roadside Assistance Program

We understand accidents can happen anytime and anywhere. That’s why our Roadside Assistance is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and 365 days of the year. Join our Roadside Assistance Program today to receive priority service. The program is free to join and has no monthly fees. Give yourself a peace of mind this winter season.

What to keep in Your Winter Car Emergency Kit

For those who live in areas with extreme weather conditions, you are probably aware of the risk of accidents and being stranded. Emergency kits should be prepared for carrying in the car year-round, but the winter months will require additional supplies.

Year-round Supplies
1. Roadside assistance phone number.
2. Battery powered portable radio with extra batteries.
3. Distress sign, or white towel to tie on your antenna.
4. A Compass
5. Emergency flares, and emergency warning triangles
6. Disposable camera for accident scene pictures
7. Jumper Cables
8. Extra Fuses
9. Empty Gas Can
10. Mini Fire Extinguisher
11. Flashlight with extra batteries
12. Jack with your spare tire
13. GPS (often available on cell phones)
14. Fix-a-flat
15. Bottled Water
16. Food Bars
17. Emergency $20 bill
18. First Aid Kit
19. Umbrella

Additional Supplies for Winter Months
1. Blanket
2. Chains or Snow tires
3. Sleeping bag in extreme climates
4. Matches and Survival Candles
5. Metal Cup
6. Snow Shovel
7. Windshield Scraper

Although many of these supplies may seem unnecessary or frivolous, temperature under freezing can quickly affect your family. If you are stranded and need to find help, you will need proper food and water. If you are not found within hours, you will need to be able to warm yourself and your family. The above supplies will ensure that you will have the required supplies to survive 24-48 hours in extreme conditions.