Winter driving can be a challenge, but there are ways to make it easier and safer. The Quinte Region Traffic Coalition (QRTC) would like to remind drivers of important practices to help reduce the risk of collision and injury. “Preparing your vehicle, planning your trip ahead of time and adjusting your driving speed to the road and weather conditions will all help to ensure your safety on the road this winter,” says Constable Dave Ludington of the Quinte West OPP.
Some considerations to take when heading out on winter roads include:
- Ensure your vehicle is winter ready with a maintenance check-up. Consider installing four winter tires, top up your washer fluid and keep your gas tank at least half full.
- Plan your route and leave yourself plenty of time for travel.
- Use Ontario 511 to check road conditions.
- Take time to clear ice and snow from your windows, lights, mirrors and roof.
- Put away your cell phone and other distractions.
Remember to slow down and allow extra space between you and other vehicles. “Many winter collisions happen because drivers are going too fast for the road conditions,” says Ludington. “It takes longer to stop in winter conditions, so it’s important to increase your following distance to avoid situations where you may have to brake suddenly.” Drivers are also reminded to stay well behind a working snow plow, and to never pass these vehicles.
And sometimes the best thing you can do to stay safe is to stay home. “If the weather conditions look hazardous, think about rescheduling your trip,” says Ludington.
To learn more about safe winter driving, visit www.ontario.ca/winterdriving.