THUNDER BAY – LIVING – Extreme cold and snowy weather have presented numerous challenges for members of the motoring public lately. The Superior East Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) would like to the public to consider taking safety measures that could save your life, or assist someone else during the winter months.
There have been a number of accidents on Highway 11 and Highway 17 which have caused delays and injuries. There have also been highway closures due to weather. Ensuring you are prepared for these possibilities can assure your safety and comfort.
If you are travelling in extreme cold temperatures, bring extra warm winter clothing items such as snow pants, winter boots, mitts and a winter hat. If your vehicle breaks down or you get stuck somewhere, having these items will greatly increase your chances of survival.
The OPP suggest that if you start your vehicle to warm it up prior to leaving home, to be mindful of criminals who may target idling vehicles in driveways. If possible, keep the vehicle doors locked while the vehicle is warming up.
If you can see to drive?
A buildup of snow and/or a foggy or iced over windshield or windows can drastically reduce your visibility while driving. Ensure that your vehicle is clear of snow and that you have good visibility in all directions before heading out onto the roadway. If this is not done properly, the OPP may lay charges under the Highway Traffic Act (HTA).
When planning a trip, it is a good practice to provide your itinerary to a friend or family member so they can call for assistance if you don’t arrive at your scheduled destinations. This is especially important when venturing out on snowmobiles. The sooner you are reported missing, the sooner someone will come looking for you.
If your vehicle goes off the road or gets stuck in deep snow, ensure that you keep a window slightly open if the vehicle is still running. Clear the area around your exhaust pipe so that fumes can escape away from your vehicle. There is still a risk that carbon monoxide (CO) from the exhaust may enter the cabin of the vehicle even with a clear tailpipe. Having a slightly open window will allow you to keep the vehicle warm while maintaining a fresh air supply to reduce the risk of CO poisoning.
These are only a few of many tips to consider during winter in Northern Ontario. For more safety tips, please visit the following website:
Transport Canada: https://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/motorvehiclesafety/safevehicles-safetyfeatures-winterdriving-index-693.htm