In Canada, 30% of car accidents occur during the Winter, and insurance providers see an almost 50% increase in claims during the months of December and January. This substantial increase in accidents is attributed to hazards such as bad weather, low visibility, and especially ice and heavy snow on the roads.
The responsibility falls on drivers to take extra precautions when traveling in poor Winter road conditions. This often means driving slower with heightened alertness, allowing twice the stopping distance between your vehicle and the one in front of you, and staying off the roads when you can!. In adverse conditions, it’s important to make sure that your headlights are always on.
Here are some more tips to help you travel safely on Winter Roads:
- Give your vehicle a complete checkup and pay special attention to the electrical system, brakes, tires, exhaust system, heating and cooling systems, windshield wipers and fuel.
- Pack a winter driving kit with a bag of sand, traction mats, snow shovel, snow brush and ice scraper, tow rope, first-aid kit, booster cables, and warning devices such as flares or a “Call Police” sign, and fuel line de-icer.
- Ensure all mirrors and windows are clear of ice and snow prior to driving
- Accelerate and decelerate slowly on icy or snowy roads
- Slow down when approaching a bridge, because it could be icy even when the roads are not.
- Slow down when going up or down hills.
More information can be found from the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS): http://www.ccohs.ca/oshanswers/safety_haz/icesnow.html
Please call us if you have been hurt in an accident!