The OPP is reminding drivers that late fall storms can cause the road conditions to change very quickly and warn residents not to get caught off guard. Motorists need to adjust their driving habits and get their vehicle ready for winter now.
While out on the road, there are a few simple things drivers 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 head lights and tail lights.
-Check your windshield wiper fluid levels and pack an extra container in your car.
-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 to 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 — arrive alive.
Here are a few tips in preparing your vehicle for winter:
-Ensure that your wiper blades are in good condition and you are using winter wiper fluid — summer wiper fluid will freeze. Installing winter wiper blades is a good idea. Put an extra bottle of wiper fluid in the trunk.
-Place a quality ice scraper/snow brush in your vehicle just in case.
-Lock de-icer is also a good idea. Keep some on hand for those frosty mornings.
-Install four quality winter tires on your vehicle if you can. Two winter tires is good, but four winter tires will provide you with better traction and stopping ability on a slippery road.
-Have a fall tune up done on your vehicle to ensure it is in tip top shape.
-Place a winter emergency kit in your vehicle. Items such as a candle, blanket, flashlight, gas-line anti-freeze, first aid kit, flares, a small shovel, and some non perishable snacks are items that can go in your kit.
The OPP said it encourages all motorists to take a few minutes to prepare their vehicles for winter and to practise safe and courteous driving habits to reduce the risk of preventable late fall/early winter collisions.