The Winter Driving Safety Alliance has launched the 2014 Shift into Winter Campaign— an annual road safety initiative that encourages drivers to be prepared and drive safety in winter.
As a member of the Alliance, Mainroad encourages all employees and their families to shift into winter driving mode and prepare for the upcoming season. Don’t wait until snow arrives. Whether you’re driving across town, or across the province, it’s important that you and your vehicle are prepared for winter conditions.
A few simple steps to winterize your ride could make a difference to your safety:
- Get a Grip: Install four matched winter tires with the winter logo. The grooves in winter tires help to divert snow and water away from your tires. That means better traction and control on the road. Check your tire pressure at least once a month or more (tire pressure drops in colder conditions.)
- Give your vehicle a winter check-up: Make sure the battery, brakes, lights, fuses, cooling/heating systems, exhaust/electrical systems, belts and hoses are in top shape.
- Before each trip, do a ‘circle check’ (walk around your vehicle to inspect its condition and possible reversing hazards).
- Review your vehicle’s maintenance record. Take it in for repair if needed and report any concerns to your supervisor.
- Keep your gas tank full to avoid condensation which can cause fuel lines to freeze.
- Equip your work vehicle with a Winter Survival Kit. Recommended items include: an approved high-visibility vest, non-perishable food, blankets, first aid supplies, windshield scraper, snow brush, spare tire, wheel wrench & jack, shovel & traction mat, sand or kitty litter, fuel line antifreeze, flares & matches or a lighter, tire chains & gloves, flashlight & extra batteries, battery jumper cables, sandbags for extra weight, extra clothing & footwear. Do it now, before you’re caught off guard.
Download the following websites to your phone or bookmark them on your web browser and check them often.
- DriveBC.ca is a good source of current road and travel conditions.
- ShiftIntoWinter.ca has tips on how to prepare yourself and your vehicle, and how to drive safely on winter road
Did you know?
- Drivers are required to obey winter tire and chain up signs throughout the province. Certain designated routes require that vehicles are either equipped with winter tires or carry chains from October 1 to March 31. Visit DriveBC.ca for more information on the regional highways requiring winter tires and/or chains.
- Get your car winter ready with a maintenance check up. Make sure your battery, brakes, light and fuses, cooling and heating systems, electrical and exhaust systems and belts and hoses are in tip top shape.
- Watch for black ice, a thin layer of transparent ice that forms when the temperature is close to freezing. Slow down when approaching shaded areas, bridges and overpasses as these freeze sooner than others in cold weather.
- Drop your speed to match road conditions. No matter how much driving experience you have, the way your vehicle will move on snow or ice is unpredictable. The posted speed is the maximum speed for ideal conditions. In winter, it’s safer to drive below the posted speed limit.
- Always check weather and travel conditions before heading out on the road and if they are bad, avoid travelling. Even an hour or two can make a big difference. If you have to drive, drive smart. Make sure your vehicle is winter ready, give yourself lots of extra time and carry a winter survival kit.
- 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.
- Carry an emergency survival kit with non-perishable food, blankets and first aid supplies, windshield scraper and snow brush, extra windshield washer fluid, fuel line antifreeze, flares and matches or lighter, tire chains and gloves, shovel and traction mat, sand or kitty litter, flashlight and extra batteries, battery jumper cables, spare tire wheel wrench and jack, extra clothing and footwear and sandbags for extra weight.
- If you get stuck in a storm, stay calm. Avoid overexertion and exposure. Stay in your vehicle and open your window slightly to make sure you have a supply of fresh air. Use a survival candle for heat. Set out a warning light or flares.
- 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.
- 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 vehicle handles in winter weather.
For more information visit ShiftIntoWinter.ca. Please share this message with friends and family.