Safe Winter Driving
A large portion of Canada has seen snow by now, and it’s sure to be around for a while! With that being said, the roads are a lot less safe to drive on. This week we’re going to take a look at just a FEW of the precautions you can take to stay safe while driving this winter.
Avoid driving in blizzards or other bad weather if you can!
The best strategy is to all-together AVOID driving if you don’t have to. If visibility is low and the roads have yet to be cleared, there is a MUCH higher chance that you could be involved in an accident. It is much safer if you can wait until visibility improves or crews cleared the road and layed sand.
Brush off your vehicle and scrape the windows
Brushing off your vehicle before you drive is extremely important, and in some parts of Canada is law (more or less). Getting all snow off your hood ensures that wind won’t blow it off and into your windshield, which can be extremely dangerous. However it is ALSO extremely important the brush the snow off of the roof of your vehicle so it doesn’t blow off while driving and obstruct other driver’s views. Also fully scrape and defog your windows to ensure you have a full view, the winter is when it counts most!
Don’t drive tired or under the influence
Obviously, it is NEVER acceptable to drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol. However, people often over-look fatigue and tiredness. A study in 2005 determined 20% of Canadians admitted to nodding off at the wheel in the last year. Winter can make it worse because of the decrease in daylight, however winter driving calls for increased attention. That is why it is EXTREMELY important to be fully alert when driving in the winter!
Increase distance between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you!
In ideal driving conditions it is best to keep 3 or 4 seconds of space between you and the vehicle in front of you. However, when weather takes a turn for the worst it is best to increase that distance to 6-8 seconds. This gives you enough time to react and safely apply the brakes.
Plan your trip!
Planning is the key to safety! This means checking road conditions and avoiding any unsafe roads accordingly. This means safer roads and possibly a less stressful trip. Also, plan to leave earlier than you normally would when road conditions aren’t ideal. Give yourself time to drive slower and safer. This can also lead to a less stressful drive and set yourself up for a positive day!