With the significant snowfall on its way, drivers are reminded to take it easy on the roads.
"If you don't have to travel, I would suggest taking a serious look at postponing. If you have to be somewhere, take the time that you need to get to your destination safely. You will need to drive slower, you will need to increase following distances so there's more space between cars. And pay attention to what other drivers are doing who may or may not be as attentive as they need to be," says Maria Bagdonas, Centre Director for Young Drivers of Canada.
Drivers are also advised to focus on driving and put away cell phones and other distractions. Look for reflections on the road – what looks like water may actually be ice. Steer gently on curves and in slippery conditions. Hard braking, quick acceleration and abrupt gear changes can cause you to skid. Avoid using cruise control on wet, snowy or icy pavement – it reduces your reaction time and vehicle control. If you do skid, release your brakes and steer in the direction you want to go. Be careful not to over steer.
Bagdonas adds that this is a reminder for motorists to get their winter tires on in preparation for the season.
"If your snow tires aren't on right now, then it's not likely you're going to get an appointment at one of our local establishments in the next 24 to 72 hours. So if your appointment isn't made do so. You don't want to caught again in the next storm that blows our way," she says.
"We face the same thing year after year and this is the first snowfall. People are going to be getting their winter driving skills tuned up. Take it slow, take it easy, and make sure you can see out the windows of your vehicle. If you can't see it, you can't avoid it and you certainly can't deal with it."
Be sure to have emergency supplies with you this winter including a charged cell phone, non-perishable food, water, flashlight, blanket, warm clothes, jumper cables, shovel and traction mats or sand.