As you head out on the roads, it’s important to make sure you are prepared in the case of an emergency, no matter what the season.
Winter weather conditions poses unique challenges and safety risks for all motorists. It is especially important to plan ahead and drive according to the conditions.
Winter Driving Tips:
- Winterize your vehicle. This should include check your spare tire, battery, windshield wipers, antifreeze, and oil.
- Keep your gas tank full. This provides extra weight for traction and helps prevent ice build-up in your fuel line.
- Carry an emergency road kit and include: blankets, food, cell phone, shovel, flashlight, batteries, candle, tin can, tow rope, booster cables, water-proof matches and bottled water. If you find yourself stranded:
- Stay in your vehicle unless you can see shelter nearby.
- Be sure to open a window for a little fresh air to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.
- Keep your exhaust pipe free of snow if safe to do so.
- Make yourself visible to rescuers.
Whether you’re snowmobiling, ice fishing or skating with your family, there are a few things you should know about safety on frozen ponds and rivers.
- Ice is rarely uniform in thickness on a body of water. It can be a foot thick in one spot and an inch thick just 10- feet away.
- Thick ice may not be strong ice. In fact, thick ice often contains layers of snow or water and can be quite weak.
- Snow on top of ice DOES NOT make it freeze stronger and faster. Snow acts as an insulating layer and the ice under it is often thin and weak.
- Extreme cold may not create strong thick ice. Cold snaps can weaken ice, and cause large cracks.
- Strong swimmer? That may not help you if you fall through the ice. Cold water can rob you of your ability to move within seconds, making it very difficult to get out of the water.
According to Transport Canada, ice should be:
- 15 cm thick for walking or skating alone
- 20 cm thick for skating parties or games
- 25 cm thick for snowmobiles ALWAYS avoid going out on the ice at night.