By Kamloops This Week
Snow has arrived and Mounties are reminding drivers to be road-ready and weather-wise.
Stay alert: Weather conditions can change quickly, placing extra demands on your vehicle and your driving skills.
Keep your focus on the road and on other vehicles. Eliminate all distractions and make sure you are well rested. Watch for black ice. Slow down when approaching icy areas such as shaded areas, bridges and overpasses as these sections of road freeze sooner than others in cold weather.
Slow down: Drop your speed to match road conditions. Keep a safe distance between you and the vehicle in front of you to avoid having to brake suddenly on a slippery surface. The posted speed is the maximum, speed under ideal conditions. In winter, it is safer to drive below the posted speed.
No matter how much experience you have, the way your car will move on snow or ice always has an element of unpredictability.
Stay in control: Make sure you know how to handle your vehicle in all weather conditions. Accelerate and brake slowly. When starting from a stop on slick roads, start slowly and accelerate gradually to maintain traction and avoid spinning your wheels. When stopping, plan well in advance, apply the brakes gently and slowly add pressure rather than braking suddenly.
See and be seen: It is critical for drivers to see and be seen in low light conditions, and when blowing snow impairs visibility. Always drive with your headlights on. When approaching winter maintenance vehicles from behind, slow down, stay back and be patient.
Prepare your vehicle for winter. It’s time to put on the winter tires.
Remember to check tire air pressure frequently throughout the winter as it decreases in cold weather. Make sure you have sufficient windshield washer fluid in the reservoir that is rated a minimum of -40 C temperature range. Keep an extra jug in your vehicle.
Clear snow and ice from the roof, hood, trunk and all windows, lights and mirrors. After starting your vehicle, wait for the fog to clear from the interior of the windows so you will have good visibility all around.
Keep your fuel tank sufficiently full. At least half a tank is recommended. Finally, keep a winter survival kit in your vehicle.