Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Winter Driving, In a Top 10 List!!!

Finally Winter Driving!!!

According to the news reports this morning Toronto is about to get a blast of Winter. A staggering 7cm has been predicted for the area...7cm (2 and 3/4 inches)...look out!!

Don't let anyone in the Mid-Atlantic States know that we are calling this a serious problem. This is Canada!! That's the amount of snow we are supposed to get daily...come on. Has the pampering of the past few dry months made us all forget how to drive in winter?

YES THEY HAVE...they always do!!!

I predict that if the snow falls during a busy drive time (afternoon or morning rush), we will be crippled by cars that have spun out, gone into the ditch, cars that have rear ended other cars and people that can't see because they refuse to clear more than a 4 inch square to look through, while they blind the rest of us when the snow clears itself off their cars, onto ours.

Every first snow fall of the year, police everywhere shudder at what is going to happen on our roads. It's not the severity of the crashes that occur, it's the frequency of preventable collisions or driving hazards.

So, to help out everyone that 'needs' to drive...(have you tried public transit, even if only for bad weather days?)...here are:

The Top 10 Things You Can Do To Stay Safe In Bad Winter Weather

10.) Ensure your tires have the proper pressure, adequate tread depth and are in good overall condition.

9.) Carry and USE a good quality snow brush and scrapper. Clean the entire car and scrape all your windows. (Don't use wipers and washer fluid to do this...re-freeze and wiper damage will result)

8.) Replace your wiper blades as needed and keep washer fluid reservoir full. Winter plays havoc on the blades and you will use a lot of the juice. (ice, salt and grime destroys the blades, keep an extra jug in the trunk.)

7.) Don't wear heavy boots. Keep them with you but wear sensible shoes for driving (You don't want to press two pedals at the same time)

6.) Dress in layers so that you will still be warm when you take off the over-stuffed, over sized winter coat to drive. (better for sight and movement)

5.) If you need a quick defrost, turn on your air conditioner in the warm position with circulation set to re-circulate. (Pulls moisture out of the air)

4.) Leave extra space in front of you...you may need it and you are control of it. (Slippery roads require greater distance to stop so give yourself extra to start with.)

3.) Signal all lane changes and turns. (You have to all the time, but since the roads suck away some of your safety net in winter you want to give everyone warnings to all your movements.)

2.) SLOW DOWN!!! "But the speed limit is 60 officer. I couldn't have been going too fast for the conditions." The speed limit is the maximum speed for IDEAL conditions...of which winter driving is not ideal. Leave sooner, add extra time to all your trips.

...and the number 1 thing you can do to stay safe in bad winter weather is...

1.) DON'T DRIVE (public transit, car pooling, time shifting, staying home, avoid unnecessary trips)

Make my earlier prediction false. Snow will always slow us down, bad driving makes us stop. Use these ten, especially 3, 2 and 1 and you will show my prediction to be wrong.

I love this quote from my partner who is one of Toronto's best driver training officers.
"Once your environment changes, your driving behaviour and attitude must change with it"
-Police Constable Hugh Smith-

1 comment:

  1. Here's a great photo for you, Tim, for this story. If you want to use it, go ahead.


    The credit is Photo and description by Brian McInnis, Charlottetown Guardian