Shift Into Winter
Are you confident in your winter driving abilities? Most of us don’t get enough practice driving in winter conditions. Here are some tips to keep you safe on the roads.
First – do you really need to go?
Remember that every day BC workers face the risk of being injured or killed while driving on the job. Driving in winter conditions can put you at even greater risk. Ask yourself if the trip can be delayed perhaps by just 24 hours. If you must go, make sure that you are prepared:
Check the current road conditions and weather forecast. Listen to the radio, TV and visit DriveBC.ca. Again, ask yourself – is it safe to go?
Plan your route ahead of time. Avoid any roads that may become dangerous during bad weather. Respect road closure signs and barriers and do not attempt to drive on these routes until they are re-opened.
Leave lots of time so you’re not rushing to get to where you need to be. Try to travel during daylight and consider delaying your trip if the weather is bad. Let someone know your route and planned arrival time.
Learn winter road skills. If you are unfamiliar with driving in snow and icy conditions and your job requires you to be behind the wheel, ask your employer for winter driving training. Through training and practice, learn how to brake safely, how to get out of a skid, and how your car handles in winter weather.
Keep at least four seconds distance between you and the vehicle in front of you. This will allow plenty of room in situations where you may need to brake suddenly on a slippery surface.
Wear comfortable clothing that doesn’t restrict your movement while driving. Bring warm clothing (winter boots, coat, gloves and hat) with you in case you need to get out of your vehicle.
Have an emergency plan. If you get stuck or stranded, don’t panic. Stay with your vehicle for safety and warmth. If you have a cell phone and it is an emergency, call 911. Otherwise, call for roadside assistance.