THUNDER BAY – The first snowfall is down on the ground and on local roads. For many across the Thunder Bay Region, it means getting used to winter driving conditions again.
Every winter the first major snowfall leads to more accidents and collisions.
Perhaps the first thought should be: “Is this trip really necessary?”
It is likely today there will line-ups for people in desparate need of winter tires and over the next few days, local body shops will be full of damaged vehicles.
The OPP would like to remind motorists of the following vehicle and road safety tips to prepare for winter driving conditions;
Adjust your driving
- Slow down and drive according to weather conditions. Speed too fast for road conditions is the number one cause of winter collisions.
- Be prepared for rapidly changing conditions. Blowing snow may suddenly reduce visibility, and gusting winds can cause ice to form quickly.
- Leave extra space between vehicles. Stopping distances are a least double on snow covered roads and even longer on icy road conditions.
- Know where you are. Keep track of intersections and landmarks in case you need to call for help in an emergency situation.
- Monitor road and weather conditions. Check local weather and road conditions before heading out. If conditions are poor, consider delaying your trip until conditions improve.
Prepare your vehicle
- Have your vehicle serviced in preparation for the winter season.
- Have winter tires installed before the first snowfall.
- Have an ice scraper / snow brush in your vehicle to ensure windshield and headlights are clear of ice and snow.
- Fill your windshield reservoir and have extra available.
- Check your headlights to ensure they are working.
- Clean your windshield and have wiper blades checked, replaced if necessary.
- Ensure your gas tank is always at least half full.
- Keep a winter survival kit in your vehicle that includes blankets, flashlight, candle and some food / drinks.
The OPP reminds motorists and the public not to call the OPP for road conditions. You can call 5-1-1 or visit their website at https://511on.ca/ for interactive up to date road conditions anywhere in Ontario.