Winter driving conditions are upon us for another year. As Albertans we are no strangers to icy roads and drifting snow, however there are a few things that people need to remember to keep yourself and others safe on the road.
One of the biggest things that I have noticed in the past few days with the snowy road conditions and low visibility is a lot of drivers are forgetting to put their headlights on. When visibility is bad it is so important for your safety and other drivers to make sure your lights are on so you are visible on the road and others can give you enough space should you slow down or need to brake suddenly. In a blizzard without your lights on you are essentially invisible on the road and are making bad road conditions more dangerous.
Take the extra time before you drive and check what the road conditions are. A great source to check out if there are major accidents, delays or road closures is 511 Alberta and they regularly post on their Twitter account. Many area residents also post to community Facebook pages in the morning if they have attempted their commute and faced challenging roads.
Make sure you budget extra time to get where you need to go and don’t rush. However, if you are uncomfortable driving the speed of the traffic flow, please put your hazards on and consider taking side roads versus the highway to where you need to go. If the conditions don’t call for it, driving 40 km/h on the highway is incredibly dangerous.
Lastly, if you need to slow down or hit a patch of ice don’t touch your brakes! Hitting your brakes suddenly when on icy roads can cause you to lose control of the vehicle or spin out. Your best bet to slow down is to completely take your foot off the gas and focus on steering where you need to go. This tip has gotten me home safe and off some pretty terrible roads over the years.
As many of us know, winter is usually a long-haul in our province so let’s do our best to keep ourselves and everyone else safe on the road. Drive smart and be safe!