Highways and Public Works

Winter Driving

Prepare for Winter Driving

When the days grow shorter and the snow starts flying, these steps will help you prepare for winter driving...


  • Change to winter tires. When the weather drops below 0° Celsius and the snow starts falling, equipping your vehicle with winter tires will increase your safety on the road.
  • Check weather and road conditions at Yukon511.ca
  • Remember to buckle up, and ensure your children are correctly belted in the appropriate car seat.


Learn more about Winter Driving

Emergency Kit
Winterize Your Vehicle
Winter Tires and Tire Chains

Emergency Kit

Make sure that you and your passengers are prepared for any winter driving emergency. Dress for weather conditions and keep the following items in your vehicle:

  • Booster cables
  • Tow rope
  • Sand, traction mats, or tire chains
  • Reflective triangles
  • First Aid kit
  • Flashlight
  • Spare tire, tire jack and tire iron
  • Alternate heat source (matches, candles, etc.)
  • Whistle
  • Portable shovel
  • Ice scraper/brush
  • Emergency blankets
  • Emergency food rations (energy bars, etc.)

Winterize your Vehicle

  • Ensure all vehicle lights are in good working condition.
  • Replace vehicle fluids with winter certified fluid where applicable (oil, washer fluid, anti-freeze etc.)
  • Monitor vehicle fluid levels and fill as required.
  • Check brakes and battery.
  • Tune up engine.
  • Equip with winter tires (check tire pressure and tread)
  • Inspect belts and hoses.
  • Install windshield wiper blades that are appropriate for winter.
  • Confirm heater and defrost are working properly.


Winter Tires and Tire Chains


When the weather drops below 0° Celsius and the snow starts falling, equipping your vehicle with winter tires will increase your safety on the road.

Change to winter tires

Properly inflated winter tires improve fuel economy, vehicle handling and stopping distance.

  • Winter tires are designed to stay softer in colder temperatures unlike summer or most all season tires.
  • Winter tires are engineered to throw slush and snow out of their path with ease, allowing drivers to have more control over their vehicle.

Maintain your tires

Check your tire pressure

  • Tires filled with air will lose 1 PSI (pounds per square inch) for every 5 degree drop in temperature.
  • Under or over inflated tires will not perform properly. 

Check your tire tread

  • Tires need more than 4 mm (5/32 of an inch) of tire tread for winter driving.

Tire Chains

Chains are not required for travel in Yukon in winter, but they are recommended to have on hand in case of emergency.

Tips about tire chains for winter:

  • When considering purchasing tire chains, please contact your tire dealer for more information chains or winter tires.
  • Purchase chains that are the correct size for the tires. There must be minimum clearances between the tires and the vehicle’s fenders, suspension, struts, brake lines to ensure that there is no unwanted contact between chains and/or vehicle components.
  • It is recommended to pre-fit the chains on the tires prior to actual using them. Pre-fitting the chains will help the driver to become familiar with their installation, then they will be prepared if conditions are less than ideal. 
  • Tire chains should be installed on the drive wheels of the vehicle according to manufacturer’s instructions.  To retain ensure normal handling characteristics for 4WD/AWD vehicles, tire chains should be installed on all four tires.
  • Before beginning your trip, check the current road conditions and weather forecast for the areas you will be traveling. Ensure your vehicle has good winter tires.
  • If road conditions worsen, install your chains before you reach an uphill or downhill grade. If you have any doubts, chain up before proceeding to ensure that you will be able to maintain traction and control of your vehicle.
  • Do not exceed the manufacturers recommended speed limit for the chains. Chains may break if driven for prolonged periods of time or from spinning excessively.
  • Inspect the chains regularly for damage, such as twists, broken links. Follow the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance information to ensure maximum chain life.