Stay Safe on the Road with Winter Driving Tips from Wood Wheaton GM Supercentre
TIPS TO STAY SAFE ON THE ROAD
Winter driving doesn’t only require a complete change in habits from summer driving conditions, it requires a completely different mindset and list of priorities. Here are a few tips to stay safe on the treacherous B.C. winter roads:
- Check the road and weather conditions before embarking. Do the authorities advise against driving? If so, reconsider whether you need to go out, and whether you can afford to delay your drive another 24 hours.
- Plan your route ahead of time. Some stretches of highway and access roads are worse than others in the winter. If you can avoid a particularly hazardous or restricted road, it certainly pays to do so, rather than setting off and having no choice.
- Leave yourself enough time so that you don’t need to rush.
- Allow for a sizeable gap between you and the vehicle ahead of you; the faster you are going, the larger the gap. You also don’t know how easily other vehicles on the road can brake, so allow people following too close to pass.
WINTER DRIVING SAFETY
No one plans to be stranded in a rough winter blizzard. It might not be overly likely to occur, but the consequences for whenever it could happen are severe.
You’re best strategy to keep you and your passengers safe is to plan ahead and ensure the following key points are met in advance:
- Check the current road and weather conditions before heading out. Avoid driving during severe weather advisories, but when you do need to head out on the road, it always helps to inform someone else of your itinerary.
- Make sure you have the right tires for the road (winter or snow tires), and check the tire pressure every few weeks.
- To avoid being stranded (especially during long delays or traffic stops), ensure that you always have plenty of gas, enough for a few hours of idling at least. A good rule of thumb is to never let the fuel tank fall below one third full, even higher for longer drives in more remote areas.
- Keep the following equipment stocked in your vehicle in case you become stranded:
- Snow brush and scraper
- Extra washer fluid
- Tire chains and gloves
- Flares, matches, and a lighter
- First aid kit
- Shovel and traction mat or sand
- Flashlight and batteries
- Warm blanket
- Fully charged cell phone and charger
- Tow rope
- High-energy food rations
- Empty can in which to melt snow for water
- In the event you are stranded, stay in your vehicle and avoid exposure and overexertion, especially in extremely low visibility conditions. Bundle up and lower your window slightly to ensure you have enough oxygen, especially when the engine is running and you could be exposed to carbon monoxide.
WINTER TIRES AND CHAINS
Did you know that across the majority of B.C. highways during the period of October 1st – March 31st that it’s mandatory to use either certified winter tires or chains while out on the road? It’s true. Look for the appropriate signage to know which roads are affected. If you don’t have the proper equipment, you may be subject to a fine by the RCMP, or worse–you could be involved in a serious accident out of immediate access from tow-trucks and emergency responders.
Stay safe on the road by ensuring you have the right tires for icy and slippery B.C. driving.