Winter is quickly on its way and the East Algoma Detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) is reminding the motoring public to practice safe driving habits. When you are on the road, there are a few simple things you can do to reduce the risk of a collision:
Give yourself a little extra time to reach your destination, as traffic will be slower.
Ensure that you have completely brushed the snow and ice off your vehicle to allow a clear view of the roadway—this includes your headlights and taillights. A buildup of snow on your vehicle can reduce your visibility and cause a traffic hazard to other motorists and could lead to Highway Traffic Act (HTA) charges.
Check your windshield wiper fluid levels and pack an extra container in your vehicle.
Drive according to the road and weather conditions – reduce your speed and increase your following distance to ensure you can stop safely if needed. Speed too fast for conditions is the most common cause of winter collisions.
Accelerate slowly and brake sooner to avoid spin outs especially at intersections.
Check the weather forecast. It may be better to stay home.
Be a sober driver.
The Ontario Provincial Police encourages all motorists to practice safe and courteous driving habits to reduce the risk of preventable winter collisions.
If travel is necessary during potentially dangerous winter weather, it’s best to inform someone of the travel route, destination and expected arrival time. Motorists should also remember to keep their gas tank near full to avoid ice in the tank and fuel lines.
Keeping a winter vehicle kit is also a good practice and can include these items:
· Flashlights with extra batteries
· First aid kit with pocket knife
· Necessary medication
· Matches and candles for light and heat
· Extra set of mittens, socks and wool cap
· Bag of sand for generating traction under the wheels
· Booster cables
· A brightly coloured cloth to use as a distress flag
· Bottled water
Visit the Ontario Ministry of Transportation website at ontario.ca/511, twitter @511Ontario or call 511 for traveller’s information such as winter road conditions, construction reports, road closures, traffic reports, traffic cameras and interactive mapping.
Please do not call 9-1-1 or the OPP for road reports