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December 2008
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Winter Driving

Winter is officially here. I may have already gone skiing and snowshoeing  a few times, but this weekend was the first winter storm I’ve driven through. I say winter storm because it really was not snowing that hard, if at all, but the wind was blowing like crazy and some of the stretches with bare fields made it impossible to see where we were going; when there were trees lining the roads it made it much easier to see and safer overall.

The Ministry of Transportation of Ontario has released a document that covers Winter Driving: Be Prepared, Be Safe! and Snow & Ice Control on Ontario’s Highways. Here are some of their tips for winter driving:

  • make sure you have sufficient windshield washer fluid in the reservoir that is rated for a minimum of -40?C temperature range
  • carry a cell phone
  • make sure you know how the braking system in your car works
  • stay well back to let snowplows do their job
  • NEVER pass a snowplow on the right hand side – they cannot see you

It also includes what one should keep as a survival kit, which can be found here  (scroll down almost to the bottom of the page to find it). Most importantly make sure you have a good ice scraper/snowbrush; starting out with a clean windshield is essential for safe driving.

I love winter and embrace every moment with it. It is a matter of being prepared and driving according to the conditions.

Comments

Comment from vic
Time December 8, 2008 at 3:23 pm

The most important safety tip isn’t mentioned: Don’t drive. If the roads are unsafe for driving, stay off of them.

During every snowfall, it’s a sure bet to find motorists playing bumper-cars with each other. I’m sure most of their trips through the snow are unnecessary too.

If the weather is bad, wait it out. Don’t risk your life and other peoples’ lives for your own convenience or pleasure. If it’s “impossible to see where we were going”, don’t go.

Comment from sasha
Time December 8, 2008 at 4:20 pm

I totally agree Vic – interesting that I didn’t think of that as #1, when it should be. I guess I was clouded when reading the pamphlet.

The closes the pamphlet goes to ‘don’t drive in unsafe conditions’ is ‘Don’t take chances if the weather is bad.’