Soon snow and winter conditions will be back and with them come the challenges that all motorists in Orangeville and the surrounding area face. Winter weather conditions can be variable and unpredictable, placing extra demands on your vehicle and driving skills. The Orangeville Police Service is suggesting the following tips to help remind everyone of good winter driving practices:
- Make sure your vehicle is “winter ready” by replacing weak batteries, making sure wiper blades are operational and that windshield washer fluid is topped up, tires are properly inflated and can handle the snow and ice, the gas tank is kept at least half full to avoid gas line freeze ups and running out of gas, make sure brakes are in top condition. Most car care facilities offer winter checkups for your vehicle.
- Be prepared for emergencies by keeping a winter survival kit in your trunk. Having essential supplies can provide some comfort and safety for you and your passengers should you become stranded. Recommended items include a snow/ice scraper, shovel, sand or other traction aid, tow rope or chain, booster cables, road flares, flashlight, first aid kit, extra clothing and foot wear, blanket, candle and small tin can, matches, nonperishable emergency food supply and a fire extinguisher. Carry a cellular phone in case it is necessary to call for help.
- Driver readiness is essential. Before leaving your driveway, make sure all windows are cleared off and defrosted. As well, make sure all lights are cleared off so that you can be seen. The most important aspect of winter driving is to adjust your speed to match road conditions. When driving in stormy weather motorists accelerate, brake and steer smoothly. Abrupt accelerating, braking and cornering could cause skidding. In the winter motorists are often required to brake in order to avoid a collision. It is therefore essential to allow yourself ample distance between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you.
“As drivers we all need to slow down and allow more time to reach our destinations”, said Orangeville Police Constable Scott Davis. “We have no control over the environment or the other drivers and vehicles on the road. We all have to be responsible for our own driving habits. Driving defensively and according to the conditions we face will greatly reduce the risk of becoming involved in a motor vehicle collision.”
Photo Credit: Orangeville Police