Drivers

Winter is Mother Nature’s driving test. Cold temperatures, slippery roads, and reduced visibility challenge even the most experienced drivers. The risks are high whether you drive for work or pleasure. Learn how to keep yourself and your passengers safe.


Safe winter driving

Every year in BC, crashes caused by people driving too fast for road, weather and traffic conditions increase significantly during the fall and winter months. Your risk is high no matter where you live. Whether you’re facing snow and ice in northern BC or rain and fog in coastal BC, you can’t always predict how your vehicle or other vehicles will react.

Attitude is one of the most important factors in safe winter driving. Drivers with a good attitude don’t put themselves in high-risk situations. They also know that no one, including themselves, is a perfect driver.

To help keep yourself safe, apply these winter driving safety tips:

Know before you go
Prepare yourself
Prepare your vehicle
Adjust your speed to the conditions
See and be seen

Reading the road

Various road surfaces react differently to cold temperatures, snow, and ice. Be aware that bridge decks and overpasses may be more slippery when the temperature drops. Steep grades and frost heaves can also create driving challenges. Watch out for potholes and puddles that may be deeper than you think.

Knowing how to assess road conditions helps you adjust your driving. Here are some clues to look for:

Spray from slush and snow
Signs of black ice
Driving on steep grades
Driving around a curve

Driving for work in winter

Driving may be the most dangerous thing you do at work. Vehicle crashes are the leading cause of traumatic workplace deaths in BC.

If you drive full time, part time, or just occasionally as part of your job, you drive for work. This applies to any driving that’s work-related, from making sales calls or deliveries to running work errands. The vehicle you drive is your workplace, whether your organization owns it or you do.

Learn more about employee responsibilities and employer responsibilities for your health and safety when driving.

If you drive vehicles with a GVW in excess of 5000 kg, review our commercial carriers section.

Safe work driving practices

Start by reviewing our tips for safe winter driving, learning more about driving in snow and ice, and reviewing our What Workers Need to Know guide (PDF 2MB) and Practical BC Winter Driving Tips webinar. Then follow these work-related driving tips:

Learn and follow your organization’s winter driving policies and procedures
Ask for winter driving training
Complete a pre-trip vehicle inspection
Review the vehicle’s maintenance record
Report workplace and road hazards

Resources

Tool Kit

Driving for the Conditions

No matter how much experience you have, driving in snow, rain, fog, or icy conditions can be treacherous. Use our tips to help you and your passengers get home safe.
Tool Kit

Distracted Driving

Distracted driving is one of the leading causes of fatal crashes in BC, but it’s also preventable. Learn how to stop distracted driving when driving for work.
Winter Driving Survival Checklist
PDF 176KB
Vehicle Emergency Kit Checklist
PDF 135KB
Winter Driving: What Workers Need to Know
PDF 2MB
Learn How to Drive in Winter Conditions
PDF 149KB
Prepare Your Vehicle for Winter Weather
PDF 704KB
Prepare Yourself for Winter Conditions
PDF 185KB
Winter Tips for Truck Drivers
PDF 167KB
Winter Tips for Log Haulers
PDF 213KB

Shift into winter

Driving in winter has additional risks. Use our practical resources and tips to prepare drivers and vehicles for changing conditions.

Start preparing