For 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 the 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.

Driving for the conditions means you need to adjust your driving in different weather, road, visibility, and traffic conditions to maintain full control of your vehicle.

A basic rule is to slow down when conditions are less than ideal. Speed limits are set for optimal conditions. So even if you drive at the speed limit, police can ticket you for driving too fast for the conditions if the road is icy, crowded, narrow, or if visibility is poor.

Here are some examples of driving for the conditions:

  • Being able to maintain control of the vehicle when the road is slippery from rain or ice.
  • Being able to stop or slow enough to avoid hitting a pedestrian or animal that unexpectedly enters your path.
  • Leaving more space between your vehicle and the one in front of you when visibility is less than ideal, such as at night, in fog, or during heavy rainfall.

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

Know before you go
Prepare yourself
Prepare your vehicle
Increase your following distance
See and be seen
Be prepared for emergencies

Review our Driving for the Conditions Tool Kit for more tips.

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


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.

Vehicle Emergency Kit Checklist

An emergency kit is essential for every work vehicle. Use this checklist to put together a kit that can be used in all weather and driving conditions.

Winter Driving: What Workers Need to Know

When you drive for work in winter, you face dangerous road and weather conditions. Review this guide to understand your safety rights and responsibilities, and how to reduce your risks.
Tip Sheet

Learn How to Drive in Winter Conditions

Winter weather is Mother Nature’s road test, no matter how much driving experience you have. Use these 8 tips to keep yourself safe on the road.
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Preparing Your Vehicle for Winter

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Tip Sheet

Prepare Yourself for Winter Conditions

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Winter Tips for Truck Drivers

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Winter Tips for Log Haulers

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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.