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Tips for Driving in Low Visibility

By AMA Staff

As the daylight hours lessen throughout the winter, so too does visibility, particularly with the onset of snow. Here are some tips to follow for the months to come. 

Removing distractions  

While walking or cycling, even if the street ahead seems quiet, you should always commit full attention to your surroundings rather than looking at your mobile device and/or listening to music through headphones. “It’s important to remember that you might also encounter ice or other risk factors on your path or at crosswalks. And given the lower light conditions from shorter days, you won’t be as visible to other road users—and they might need more time to react given the conditions,” says Dominic Schamuhn, AMA’s manager of advocacy. 

Staying alert  

Always make eye contact with other road users, for example, at a crosswalk. “Eye contact means that you can see them, they’ve acknowledged you, and you know that they have seen you,” says Schamuhn. Another option for pedestrians is physically signalling, using the Point, Pause, Proceed rule of thumb. 


Drivers should familiarize themselves with their vehicle’s features and settings to avoid becoming a “phantom vehicle,” which is an automobile being operated without the proper exterior lighting activated. In particular, be mindful of the following:  

-Automatic headlights only work if you set them on automatic.  
-A bright dashboard doesn’t always mean that your headlights and tail lights are on.  
-Daytime running lights don’t give you enough light to drive safely in the dark or in bad weather.