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Winter Safety Tips

Winter weather brings cold temperatures, snow and ice conditions to the region and can cause safety issues for both drivers and pedestrians.  Review these tips to help you prepare for winter.

Winter Driving Tips

  • Consider getting winter tires (if you don’t already have them). Winter tires provide better traction, handling and braking and can shorten your braking distance by as much as 25 per cent. All-season tires are not the same as winter tires. They lose their grip when the temperature dips below 7 C. Drivers with winter tires may also eligible for an insurance discount starting January 1, 2016;
  • Drive according to road conditions. Give more distance between cars, slow down, and allow yourself more travel time. Give extra time and space to stop in bad weather. Do not rely on the estimated time of arrival your GPS gives you. Remember: speed limits are set for ideal conditions;
  • Clear snow and ice from your vehicle. Make sure you clean all windows, mirrors, lights and the roof. Wait for any foggy windows to clear up so your visibility isn't poor. Good visibility keeps yourself and others safe;
  • Check road and weather conditions frequently. Choose the route you'll take ahead of time and check the weather forecast to make sure you know what to expect before you hit the road.
  • Create a 'survival’ kit. Your survival kit should include items such as: gloves, booster cables, small shovel, windshield wiper fluid, first aid kit, torch, snow brush, candles, safety vest, water bottles and non-perishable energy foods. Put the kit in the trunk of your car;
  • Watch for pedestrians. Look twice for pedestrians crossing the road;
  • Stay back from snow clearing equipment by approximately 45 metres (147 feet). If you find yourself behind a snow plow, maintain a safe distance. Snow plow drivers do not always have the best visibility and can create clouds of snow that can reduce your visibility;
  • Pay attention to the road. Do not text or otherwise be distracted when driving.
  • Prevent hydroplaning.  Scan ahead for large puddles and slow down.

Pedestrian Safety Tips

  • Pedestrians should wear reflective clothing at night or during poor visibility to ensure they are highly visible to all traffic;
  • Wearing earphones or winter headgear (i.e. hoodies, hats) can inhibit your hearing or peripheral vision. Make sure you are aware of your surroundings;
  • Don’t ‘jay walk’ it is unsafe and illegal. Cross at crosswalks or designated traffic signals;
  • Pay attention and do not text while walking; and
  • Make eye contact with approaching drivers before crossing the road.
  • Ensure you are wearing the proper footwear - have a shoe or boot with an aggressive tread. 

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