Winter Driving Tips in Our Neck of the Woods 3/3

December 25, 2017

DRIVE CAUTIOUSLY DURING BAD WEATHER

• Slow down when conditions aren’t ideal. The posted speed limit is intended for ideal road conditions. Even if road signs say you may drive 110 km/h, that doesn’t mean you should if the road is icy or snowcovered.

• Motorists have a legal obligation to drive according to road conditions. You can be charged with a traffic offence by police if you are found not to be doing so.

• Unless travel is absolutely necessary, stay off the roads during major storms.

• Stay back from snowplows. They will let you pass every five to eight kilometres or when it is safe to do so. • Plan the best route to your destination ahead of time.

• Keep your headlights on all the time – don’t rely on daytime running lights. Low beams are more effective than high beams in fog or heavy snow conditions.

• Never use cruise control in winter conditions.

• When travelling on snowy roads, try driving outside of the previous tire tracks to give you some extra traction. This also helps when there are shiny ruts in the road.

• Signal well in advance of turning to give other motorists time to anticipate and react to your actions. Check your rearview and side mirrors, and always shoulder check before changing lanes.

• Avoid sudden moves by anticipating turns or lane changes. Abrupt changes in direction or slamming on the brakes could cause you to spin out of control.

• On a wet or slick surface, allow yourself at least three times the normal following distance to stop.

• Remember that bridge decks may be slippery even when other parts of the highway are not, since they are subject to greater temperature fluctuations.

• Know your braking system and how it reacts on ice. Always be gentle with braking pressure on slick roads.

• Avoid braking on curves by driving through them at a safe, steady speed.

• Accelerate slightly when approaching a hill and then maintain a steady speed going up.

• Gear down for both uphill climbs and downhill grades. This can help you avoid brake wear and chances of sliding. But be careful of abrupt downshifting as it can upset a vehicle’s balance and cause a skid to occur, particularly when turning.

• Take your foot off the brake if your vehicle begins to skid and steer in the direction you want to go. When the wheels regain their grip, brake firmly and smoothly.

• If you are driving a rear-wheel drive, prepare to steer just enough in the opposite direction in order to prevent a counter skid.