Safe Winter Driving
Winter Driving Tips
Winter requires different driving techniques. Good drivers match their driving habits to the road conditions. Here are tips to make your winter drive safer:
- Give yourself extra time to reach your destination.
- Reduce speed and turn on your headlights.
- Leave extra distance between you and the vehicle ahead of you to allow more time to stop.
- Maintain enough speed to climb hills but reduce speed before going down hills.
- Never pass a snow plow when it is clearing snow; whiteout conditions created by flying snow can reduce visibility and increase the risk of a collision.
- Cold temperatures may make you feel more tired; a well-rested driver is a safer driver. Make sure your windshield, back window, outside mirrors and all lights are free of dirt, snow, frost, etc.
- Avoid backing up, especially during a heavy snowfall. Be on the lookout for stalled vehicles. Check your rear view mirror regularly while your vehicle is stopped in traffic.
- Keep a winter survival kit in your vehicle. Wear winter clothing that allows for shoulder checking and access to vehicle controls. Winter gloves, boots, hats, etc.
- When road conditions are difficult, consider leaving your vehicle at home and use Red Deer Transit instead. Listen to local media for updated road conditions and up-to-date information on snow and ice control operations.
Maintaining your Vehicle
Please make sure your vehicle is winterized before the cold weather arrives. Breakdowns in winter can often be avoided with proper vehicle maintenance:
- Your car's battery must be in good condition.
- Check fluid levels and concentration (oil, transmission, radiator, windshield wiper antifreeze, cooling system anti-freeze).
- Tires should be appropriate for the season, in good condition and properly inflated.
- Wiper blades should be checked and replaced if worn.
- Check your exhaust system for any leaks. Remember, carbon monoxide is odourless, colourless and deadly.
Playing it Safe
Snow and cold temperatures also bring special safety risks that we should keep in mind as winter approaches:
- Pedestrians and motorists should take special care at intersections as slippery roads and sidewalks increase the risk of a collision at these locations.
- Keep children away from snow banks adjacent to roadways as well as snow storage areas along streets or in parking lots.
- Winter cycling is becoming more and more popular; cyclists should wear a helmet and both cyclists and motorists should keep in mind that the edges of roadways can be slippery.
- Dress warmly, including a hat, gloves and appropriate shoes/boots, even when setting off in your vehicle; a minor motor vehicle collision can leave you unexpectedly stranded.