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6 ways to make fall, winter driving safer

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Wet, cold, dark and slippery conditions make this the most dangerous time of the year to drive, but preparing now can help you prevent crashes and injuries.

Fall and winter weather are Mother Nature’s road test for drivers. Wet, cold, dark and slippery conditions make this the most dangerous time of the year to drive, whether it’s for work or pleasure.

Preparing now can help you prevent crashes and injuries. Your safety, and the safety of all of your passengers, depends on it.

ShiftIntoWinter.ca encourages you to reduce your risk behind the wheel by following these basic safety steps:

  1. Use dedicated winter tires – Even if your region of B.C. doesn’t see much snow, winter tires give you better traction when temperatures drop. They’re also required on many B.C. highways as of Oct. 1. Legal winter tires carry the three-peaked mountain and snowflake, or M+S, symbols.
  2. Know before you go – Don’t put yourself and your passengers at risk when road and weather conditions are poor. Postpone driving if you can. If you have to travel, first check DriveBC to find the safest route. Travel during daylight if possible and give yourself plenty of time to get to your destination.
  3. Slow down and leave extra space – Driving too fast for the conditions is a leading cause of crashes. So slow down and avoid sudden acceleration and braking. Maintain at least four seconds of distance between you and the vehicle ahead.
  4. Be prepared for an emergency – Make sure your phone is charged before leaving, in case you get stuck somewhere. Wear comfortable clothing when driving, and bring winter boots, coat, gloves and a hat in case you need to get out of your vehicle.
  5. Clear snow, ice from your vehicle – Visibility matters. Before driving, brush snow from windows, lights, mirrors, the hood and the roof. Scrape icy windows and wait for them to defrost completely. Make sure windshield wipers are in good condition. Always turn your headlights on in dim light.
  6. Refresh your winter driving skills – No matter how much driving experience you have, it’s been months since you drove in winter-like conditions. Review some tips for safe winter driving. Avoid sudden starts and stops. If you start to skid, ease off the brake or accelerator and look and steer in the direction you want to go.

For more information on how to prepare yourself and your vehicle for fall and winter conditions, visit ShiftIntoWinter.ca.

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