As Ontarians begin another Canadian winter, motorists need to take extra precautions and adjust their driving habits to cold, icy, and snowy conditions.
The Ministry of Transportation’s “Winter Driving” booklet provides driving tips for winter road conditions.
For example, drivers should remember to:
•plan ahead (make sure your vehicle is “winter ready” with a maintenance check-up);
•keep your vehicle in good working order (be sure to keep your gas tank at least half full, top up your windshield fluid, and clear snow and ice from windows, lights, mirrors, and the roof);
•double your distance from the vehicle ahead (it takes longer to stop on slippery roads); and
•be visible (switch on the vehicle’s full lighting system in poor weather or low light conditions).
The booklet includes other tips on winter driving, as well as information about technical improvements being made by the government to manage snow-covered and icy roads.
Copies of the booklet can found online and at ServiceOntario centres.
“I strongly encourage all motorists to be prepared, stay alert, and drive according to road and weather conditions,” said Transportation minister Jim Bradley.
“By maintaining good driving habits, you can save your life and the lives of others,” he stressed.
Each year in Ontario, there are 60,000 traffic collisions during the winter months, many involving motorists who fail to adjust their driving habits to weather conditions.
In Northern Ontario, residents and visitors staying less than 30 days (between Oct. 1 and April 30) legally can use studded tires during the winter months to help with braking on slippery surfaces.
Using winter tires in good condition provides better traction and handling, and can shorten braking distances by as much as 25 percent.