Snowy and icy roads are a reality of life in Alberta. As the temperature drops and snow starts to fall, we have to consider what we can do to ensure our safety on the roads this winter.
The snow comes every year, and every year there are a large number of accidents as drivers try to adjust to the changing conditions. Slow down and give more space. It is a simple habit that can keep everyone safer. You are not able to stop as quickly when there is snow on the ground. You need to allow at least three times the amount of space between yourself and other cars when the roads are slick. Winter tires, those with the mountain snowflake symbol, can also help with stopping distances in snowy and icy conditions
When traveling on the highway, remember that large trucks and trailers can kick up clouds of snow, limiting visibility. Only pass when you can see that it is safe to do so. You also may need to slow down as trucks approach you on an undivided highway, as a cloud of snow can inhibit your visibility as the truck passes. Never use your cruise control in winter driving conditions.
Make sure you have safety equipment for cold weather. You can keep a blanket, matches and candles, space blankets, or fire-starters in your car. Make sure you are properly dressed for the elements, you might not think you need them going from a garage to a warm car to another garage, but in a blizzard, it can take many hours to get help if you get stranded. You want to ensure you are safe and warm if you do need to wait for a recovery vehicle. You also want to make sure your phone is charged, and you have a charging cable along so you can contact help if necessary.
Make sure to clear your vehicle of snow and ice before you start driving. Scrape all the windows for good visibility. If there is a large amount of snow left on the roof, hood, or trunk, it can blow off, causing visibility issues for yourself or other drivers.
By taking the time to prepare and drive cautiously, we can ensure the safety of everyone on the road this winter.