The OPP are asking all motorists to ensure their vehicles are ready for winter conditions and begin to think about changing driving habits.
Making sure your vehicle is in winter ready condition and slowing down will reduce the number of collisions which result in injury and death on our roadways. OPP encourage all motorists to ensure their vehicles are fully prepared to meet the challenges winter driving brings. The checklist should include;
- Ensure your vehicle is mechanically sound and running well.
- Ensure your fuel tank is always above ½ full.
- Check to make sure your exhaust is free of holes or leaks.
- Replace your windshield wipers and put winter washer fluid in the reservoir.
- Put on winter tires for added traction and stopping ability.
- Ensure the vehicles defrost and interior heaters are working properly.
- Check all running lights to ensure you can see and be seen.
The number one cause of motor vehicle collisions during snowy conditions is speed to fast for road and weather conditions. When you see snow-go slow! Police also encourage motorists have the following items in their vehicle should they become stranded;
- A fully charged cell phone.
- A call police sign.
- A fully charged flashlight.
- A battery operated radio.
- A warm blanket.
- A tin can and a candle to aid in keeping warm.
- Extra pair of winter boots, hat, gloves, hand/foot warmers.
- Bottled water/juice
- Snack/nutrition bars.
These items will help you to survive winter conditions and to stay calm should you be stranded in a snow storm.
Driving in winter conditions can be dangerous and frightening. Driving during periods of heavy snow or whiteout conditions is not recommended. OPP offer the following tips in relation to winter driving;
- Always check with your local media outlet, Environment Canada or the Ministry of Transportation (MTO) before venturing out onto the roadways. If you discover that a snow storm is imminent, modify your driving times to reflect the best driving conditions.
- Reducing your speed during snow events can improve your stopping distance and help to navigate where you are going.
- If you have to stop for any reason, activate your hazard lights and ensure you are well off the traveled portion of the roadway. Whenever possible, pull into a driveway or parking lot rather than remaining on the shoulder of the roadway.
- If you have to get out of your vehicle, ensure there are no other cars approaching and do so in safety. The safest place to be is inside your vehicle.
- If you end up stuck in a ditch and need to keep the motor running, ensure that your exhaust is clear of snow. This will prevent carbon monoxide from entering your vehicle.
- When using the engine, or a lit candle to heat your vehicle, ensure a couple of your windows are down about one inch to allow CO2 to escape the vehicle and allow fresh air to enter.
- Tell someone your route and when they can expect you to return. Call them if you are going to be late.
Finally, please DO NOT call the Provincial Communications Centre for road and weather conditions. Police will not provide this information. By calling the PCC ties up phone lines that others depend on for emergency situations.