Winter Driving Safety Tips
Oh Alberta, how we love thee. Although by the calendar, it is not officially winter, there is snow on the ground, and as I write this blog, it is currently raining.
As I drove home this morning, it really blew my mind how many people don't have their lights on, so I thought to myself... better write a blog.
So, to copy David Letterman, here is 100% Safety's Winter Top 10 Safety List:
1. Turn your lights on. Many newer models of vehicles will automatically turn the vehicle lights on in dark conditions (yay safety features), but older models will not. Make sure that, when driving in dark conditions or when the weather is poor, turn your lights on so others can see you. Although you may not need your lights to see, it really does help other vehicles and increase your visibility.
2. Slow down. It's snowy, and icy, and the amount of fender benders there have been this year already is crazy. Don't tailgate. Those extra couple minutes that you think you are saving by speeding could result in catastrophic events. Please slow down and stop tailgating.
3. Tires, tires, tires. Driving on the old bald tires? Still have your summer slicks on? It's that time of year again, get the right tires for the right conditions. Summer tires will get hard and rigid in the winter, while winter tires remain soft, aiding in proper traction for the climate and terrain we live in.
4. Winter Safety Kit - GET ONE. They don't take much room. Better to have and not need, than need and not have. You can pick up a winter safety kit that has matches, flash light, tow rope, traction aid (in case you get stuck), a little shovel, etc. for pretty cheap at Canadian Tire
5. Keep a blanket in your car. If anything ever happens and you have to wait for a tow truck, your car breaks down, the heater stops working, etc. you will be super happy that you have a blanket.
6. Clean your windshield and your rear window. Don't be this guy Trying to crank the heater and use your windshield fluid to make a tiny peephole to drive. Get a scraper, use the scraper. Not being able to see out of your windshield is not safe, and it's against the law.
7. Do your vehicle walk around before you drive. Are you headlights covered in snow? Are your tail lights covered in snow? Clean them off so other drivers can see you!
8. Hammering on your brakes when it's icy is not going to make you stop. You're going to skid around and could start to go sideways, creating a hazard for yourself and those around you. Learn more about braking on ice here and here
9. PUT YOUR CELL PHONE DOWN. It's bad enough to text and drive when conditions are nice outside, so when it's winter, put your phone down. That person on the other end of the phone would feel pretty terrible if you texting them back was the reason for your accident / fatality. Check some distracted driving statistics from CAA here
10. If you are scared of the conditions, and you are driving super cautiously, that is great. I appreciate that you are driving safely; however, if you have a line up of traffic behind you because you are doing 70km/h in a 100km/h zone, this is dangerous. Pull over and let others pass. You are creating a hazard by having other drivers pass you in adverse conditions. If you are not comfortable with driving in certain conditions, map your route, maybe you can avoid major highways so you can stay away from drivers going at higher speeds.
And don't forget, KNOW BEFORE YOU GO. Always check the road conditions before you travel. You can check the road conditions in Alberta by using Alberta 511.