Unpredictable winter weather means it’s time to start adjusting your driving habits.
Wood Buffalo RCMP are reminding residents that low temperatures and snowfall bring new challenges when driving.
Motorists can help reduce safety concerns by following these driving safety tips;
- Always give yourself extra time to clear frost and snow from car windows, side mirrors, headlights, and tail lights, before going out on the roads. Make sure windows are completely defrosted before entering the roadway.
- Try to keep your vehicle’s fuel tank more than half full. A topped-up gas tank will be an asset if you become stranded, and allows for more overall vehicle weight.
- Signal well in advance of turning, to allow other motorists more time to anticipate and react to your actions. Check your rearview and side mirrors, and always shoulder check, before changing lanes.
- Keep your headlights on all the time – don’t rely on daytime running lights. Low beams are more effective than high beams in fog, and heavy snow conditions. Check to ensure your low beam, high beam, tail lights, and signal lights are all in good working order.
- Slow down and drive with caution when the roads are wet or icy. Always leave a safe amount of distance between yourself and the vehicle you’re following, especially on the highway. That way, if you need to make an emergency stop or your vehicle takes longer to stop due to road conditions; you’ll have more time to do so.
- Ensure your vehicle tires are in very good condition, good winter tires are highly recommended. Remember to check tire air pressure frequently, as it decreases in cold weather, worn or damaged tires can hamper your ability to drive safely.
- Always carry an emergency kit in your vehicle. The kit can include, but is not limited to food (that won’t spoil quickly or freeze), water, first aid kit, blanket, whistle, wind-up flashlight, jumper cables, salt/sand, tow rope, fire extinguisher, extra clothing (including gloves), phone charger, and road maps.
- Listen to the radio for road and weather updates, and check road conditions before leaving. Plan extra time to get to your destination. Consider delaying your trip in bad weather, and notify a friend or family member of your destination and anticipated arrival time.
Winter weather conditions pose unique challenges and safety risks for all motorists on our roadway. Being prepared for cold weather and winter driving conditions will help all road users be more prepared.
If road conditions are dangerous, consider making alternate travel arrangements or postponing your trip until conditions improve.