Angelo DiCiccio explains the particular perils of driving in a snow-bound country such as Canada.

New Canadian drivers face up to Old Man Winter

With the colder weather fast upon us, more drivers are getting cautious about road conditions.

Mechanics are busy switching all-season tires to the winter set so the car can be ready for the inevitable snow.

But not all residents have seen or experienced a Canadian winter, or even snow for that matter.

Thomas Ho, a new immigrant from Hong Kong fears that he may not be ready for the snowy roads to come, so he attended a winter driving course to gain some pointers on how to adapt driving.

“This is the reason why I am here (at the course), because in Hong Kong, we don’t have snow, it may be eight or 10 degrees in winter,” Ho said.

Ho, who came to Canada in May, is an experienced driver with more than 20 years under his belt.

“I wanted to learn more about the techniques for driving in snow,” he said.

Angelo DiCiccio, General Manager of Young Drivers of Canada for the greater Toronto area, instructed the course at the Welcome Centre Immigrant Services in Markham to give pointers about safe driving in winter conditions.

“We do about five to 10 a year, we actually do winter driving programs specifically for corporate clients.”

DiCicco who has been with Young Drivers for over 27 years, said that people really need to take their time and allow space when driving.

Ho, who is an active member at the Welcome Centre Immigrant Services said he learned new techniques and will try to apply them to the situations while on the road.

“I think I don’t need to change my driving habit I just have to be more cautious,” Ho said.

“I may turn off the radio and stop chatting with my family when I’m driving I just need to be focused in driving,” Ho added.

DiCicco emphasized that drivers, experienced or not still need to use precautions no matter what situation the driver may be in

“It’s about creating space for the guy behind, people actually think closer is the same thing as faster but in reality closer is more dangerous and high risk,” DiCicco said.

“It’s about space and proper seeing habits – anticipating what’s ahead of you,” DiCicco added.