AURORA, Ontario, October 26, 2011 /Canada NewsWire/ - Every year, the first snow fall comes before many Ontarians are ready for it and according to the OPP, it is wise to keep one step ahead of it by getting ready for winter driving conditions on Ontario roads and highways.
"Ontario winters make for some of the most dangerous driving conditions in Canada. Over and above getting your vehicle ready, it's important for Ontarians to adopt a new mindset that defensive, responsible driving during the winter months is more crucial than any other time of year in reducing fatalities and serious injuries". - Chief Superintendent Don Bell, Commander, Highway Safety Division.
Preparing yourself and your vehicle for the harsh winter weather ahead can go a long way in reducing collisions - something the OPP sees far too many of every winter.
Getting Your Vehicle Ready:
...Install four winter-rated tires before the first snowfall.
...Have an ice scraper or snow brush in your vehicle to keep your windows, signals and lights clear.
...Top up your windshield washer reservoir and keep an extra one handy.
...Keep your fuel tank at least ½ full so you don't run out of gas should you become stranded and to prevent condensation from forming in your gas tank.
...Keep a fully stocked emergency kit in your vehicle.
* Have your vehicle serviced to avoid preventable breakdowns.
Adjusting your driving habits:
...Drivers must SLOW DOWN! - Speed too fast for road conditions is the #1 cause of winter collisions.
...Drive according to the road and weather conditions.
...Leave extra spaces between vehicles - Stopping distances are at least doubled on snowy roads and even longer in icy conditions.
...Know where you are - If you require help in an emergency it will delay the arrival of emergency responders if you don't know your location when asked.
...Monitor road and weather conditions - Plan your trip and check local weather conditions before heading out.
...Check the Ministry of Transportation website prior to heading out on any trip during the winter - Please do not call 9-1-1 or the OPP for road reports); instead log onto: www.mto.gov.on.ca/english/traveller/conditions
"Most of the collisions we see during winter are preventable, yet far too many people blame these collisions on poor driving conditions. If all motorists got into the habit of adjusting their driving to the conditions at hand, there would be far fewer collisions on our roads and highways". - Deputy Commissioner Larry Beechey, Provincial Commander, Traffic Safety and Operational Support.
Winter Driving - Be Prepared, Be Safe!
Transport Canada - Winter Driving Tips
Transportation Health & Safety Association of Ontario