THUNDER BAY – Driving on winter roads presents many challenges. From icy corners to snow-packed roads, to following a vehicle covered in snow, drivers in northern climates have to keep their wits about them to safely navigate our highways and streets. Heading into November and then December and the holiday season, there is also the challenge presented of office and house parties and the dangers of drinking and driving.
The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) would like to remind the motoring public to practice safe winter driving habits. Snow and freezing temperatures have created some hazardous driving conditions.
Motorists are reminded to completely clear the snow off their vehicles and to ensure visibility in all directions before heading out onto the roadway. A buildup of snow on your vehicle and/or a foggy or iced over windshield or windows can drastically reduce your visibility and cause a traffic hazard to other motorists. The OPP remind drivers that it is their responsibility to take the time to properly clean off their vehicles and ensure a clear view out of all the windows and windshield. The OPP may lay Highway Traffic Act (HTA) charges if this is not completed.
When you are on the road, there are a few simple things you can do to reduce the risk of a collision:
- Give yourself a little extra time to reach your destination as traffic will be slower.
- Ensure that you have completely brushed the snow and ice off your vehicle to allow a clear view of the roadway, this includes your headlights and taillights.
- Check your windshield wiper fluid levels and pack an extra container in your car.
- Drive according to the road and weather conditions – reduce your speed and increase your following distance to ensure you can stop safely if needed. Speed too fast for conditions is the most common cause of winter collisions.
- Accelerate slowly and brake sooner to avoid spinouts – especially at intersections.
- Check the weather forecast – it may be better to stay home.
- Be a sober driver – Arrive Alive.
The Ontario Provincial Police encourages all motorists to practice safe and courteous driving habits to reduce the risk of preventable winter collisions.