Safety Tips for Winter Driving

November 14th, 2011 by Comment button No Comments »

The Ontario Provincial Police are reminding Ontario residents to get ready for the upcoming winter driving season.

“Ontario winters make for some of the most dangerous driving conditions in Canada. Over and above getting your vehicle ready, it’s important for Ontarians to adopt a new mindset that defensive, responsible driving during the winter months is more crucial than any other time of year in reducing fatalities and serious injuries”. – Chief Superintendent Don Bell, Commander, Highway Safety Division.

The OPP hope that residents will prepare both themselves and their vehicles for the harsh winter to help reduce collisions.

To get your vehicle ready for winter, the OPP suggest:

  • Installing four winter-rated tires before the first snowfall.
  • Keep an ice scrapper and snow brush in your car and make sure to keep windows, signals and lights clear of snow.
  • Keep your windshield wiper fluid reservoir topped up and keep an extra bottle on hand.
  • Keep your fuel tank at least half full during the winter months to avoid getting stranded and to prevent condensation from forming in your gas tank
  • Keep a fully stocked emergency kit in your car, which would include: food that won’t spoil (like energy bars), water bottles that won’t break if they freeze, blankets, a seat belt cutter, a first aid kit, a small shovel, a candle in a deep can and matches, wind-up flashpoint, whistle, road maps, sand or salt, extra antifreeze and windshield washer fluid, a tow rope, jumper cables, and a fire extinguisher.
  • The OPP are also reminding drivers that changing their driving habits for winter driving is key to preventing winter driving mishaps.

    “Most of the collisions we see during winter are preventable, yet far too many people blame these collisions on poor driving conditions. If all motorists got into the habit of adjusting their driving to the conditions at hand, there would be far fewer collisions on our roads and highways”. – Deputy Commissioner Larry Beechey, Provincial Commander, Traffic Safety and Operational Support.

    Drivers should slow down to match road conditions, as speeding too fast for road conditions is the number one cause of winter collisions.

    Make sure to leave extra space between vehicles as stopping distances are generally doubled by snow and ice on Ontario roadways.

    Know where you are at all times. If you get into an emergency situation, not knowing your location could delay the arrival of emergency responders.

    Monitor weather and road conditions and plan your trips accordingly.

    Road reports and more information about winter driving can be found at the Ministry of Transportation’s website at


    About the author: Michelle Gatien

    Michelle reports on the news and events happening in and around Burlington. Michelle is a long time resident of Aldershot.

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