Even the most experienced drivers in regions of B.C. that routinely see wintery weather can’t predict how their vehicle – or others on the road – will react in snow or on ice.
Being prepared before you get behind the wheel can help prevent you and your passengers from being in a crash, and worse, experience serious injury.
ShiftIntoWinter.ca encourages you to reduce your risk when driving for work or for pleasure by following these basic safety steps:
Know before you go
Consider postponing driving when road and weather conditions are poor. If you have to go, first check DriveBC.ca for the latest road and weather conditions. Select the safest route and give yourself extra time to get to your destination. Travel during daylight if possible. Tell someone where you’re going and when you expect to arrive.
Check your phone
Make sure it’s charged before leaving, in case you get stuck somewhere. Bring a charger since cell batteries can drain quickly in very cold weather. And don’t use your phone for any reason while driving.
Wear comfortable clothing
Don’t restrict your movement while driving. Wear or bring warm winter boots, coat, gloves and a hat with you in case you need to get out of your vehicle.
Have an emergency plan
If you get stranded, stay in your vehicle for safety and warmth. Call for roadside assistance, or 911 if it’s an emergency. Avoid overexertion and exposure when trying to dig your vehicle out of snow.
Clear snow, ice from your vehicle
Brush snow from all windows, lights, mirrors, the hood and the roof. Snow blowing off your vehicle reduces visibility for drivers behind and around you.
Scrape ice from windows and wait for windows to defrost completely before driving to ensure you have the best visibility. Make sure your windshield wipers are in good condition to maximize their effectiveness. And always remember to turn your headlights on in dim light. This will ensure your taillights are also on and help other drivers and pedestrians see you.
For more information on how to prepare yourself and your vehicle for winter conditions, visit ShiftIntoWinter.ca