As the temperature drops, the number of accidents increase — that’s according to the RCMP.
The Vernon North Okanagan RCMP responded to numerous collisions over the weekend as the snow rolled into the region, causing road conditions to worsen. With the upcoming weather forecast calling for heavy snow, RCMP would like to remind all motorist to slow down and drive safely.
Road checks will be conducted throughout the season to ensure vehicles are properly equipped with winter tires. Says Cst. Brett. Also having the proper emergency supplies in your vehicle, such as a road side safety kit, blankets and food will ensure your safe travels over the holiday season.
Snowy, icy conditions can seriously reduce visibility on our roads and make it difficult to stop and steer. In poor weather conditions, slow down, increase your following distance and give yourself plenty of time to get to your destination.
RCMP and ICBC are offering the following tips to ensure safe travel during the winter season:
- Slow down, increase your following distance to at least four seconds and give yourself plenty of time to get to your destination.
- Black ice is virtually impossible to see ahead of time. That’s why it’s so important to slow down and keep your distance from other vehicles – so you can see how the vehicles around you are moving on the road. Black ice is commonly found on roads with shaded areas, bridges, overpasses and intersections where car exhaust and packed snow freeze quickly. If you start to skid, ease off the accelerator and look and steer smoothly in the direction you want to go. Be careful not to over-steer and don’t brake – this could make the situation worse. You may need to repeat this manoeuvre several times until you regain control.
- When snow melts, it can also build up on your vehicle’s headlights and in the wheel wells. This can affect your ability to see and steer so you should clear this off before driving. When driving in slushy conditions, watch out for ridges of slush that can build up between lanes. To change lanes, wait for an area that has the least amount of slush, signal well in advance and slowly complete your lane change.
- Use extreme caution when approaching highway maintenance vehicles on the road including plows, salt and sand trucks and never pass on the right. Be patient and maintain a safe following distance – these vehicles throw up snow and spray which can make it difficult to see.
- Ice and snow can hit unexpectedly. Early in the season, make sure your tires are rated for the conditions you may be driving in and check your tire pressure regularly – pressure drops in cold weather and overinflated tires can reduce gripping.
- When severe winter conditions arrive, consider alternatives to help you get to work safely – take transit if possible, work from home or adjust your hours of work to avoid rush hour traffic. If you will be driving, visit drivebc.ca to check road conditions for your entire route and for possible road closures.
Visit Shiftintowinter.ca for tips on ways to prepare yourself and your vehicle, and how to drive safely on winter roads.