Fort St. John RCMP reminds drivers to be conscious of winter driving conditions

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.

SLOW DOWN: Always drive according to weather conditions. Keep a safe distance between you and the
vehicle in front of you to avoid having to brake suddenly on a slippery surface.

STAY IN CONTROL: Make sure you know how to handle your vehicle in all weather conditions.

BE ROAD-READY AND WEATHER-WISE:

Make sure your vehicle is winter ready. Keep a winter survival kit in your vehicle.

Listen to the radio for road and weather updates and check road conditions before leaving.

Plan extra time to get to your destination and consider delaying your trip in bad weather.

Notify a friend or family member of your destination and anticipated arrival time.

When approaching winter maintenance vehicles from behind, slow down, stay back and be patient.
Move over for emergency vehicles.

PREPARING YOUR VEHICLE FOR WINTER

Get your vehicle winter-ready with a maintenance check-up.

Keep your fuel tank sufficiently full – at least half a tank is recommended.

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 the 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.
The condition of your vehicle’s tires is important. Worn or damaged tires can hamper your ability to drive
safely. Remember to check tire air pressure frequently, as it decreases in cold weather.

SNOW AND ICE PUSH OUR DRIVING SKILLS TO THE LIMIT

Maintain a safe following distance. It takes longer to stop on a slippery road. Look ahead and keep plenty of
distance between you and other cars (at least four seconds).
Drop your speed to match road conditions. 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.
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. Watch for “black ice”, areas of the road with a
thin, almost invisible coating of ice, as it can cause your vehicle to suddenly lose traction, braking and cornering
control.
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.
Avoid sudden moves. Slow down and steer smoothly and gradually to avoid skidding. Accelerate gently, turn
slowly, and brake carefully and early. Avoid unexpected quick movements that could put you in a spin.
Anticipate turns, stops, and lane changes well before they occur.
Know how to handle a skid. A skid happens when your wheels slide out of control on a slippery surface and is a
result of driving too fast for road conditions. If you start to skid, ease off the brake or accelerator, look and steer
smoothly in the direction you want to go. Be careful not to oversteer.
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.

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