Staying safe means slowing down on the road this winter

Below-freezing temperatures, snow and ice can create dangerous driving conditions. That’s where our crews come in!

Our plow, grader and sanding truck operators work quickly all winter to restore safe driving conditions, so you can safely get where you need to be. When you see our crews on the road, be sure to give them room to work. Leave at least 15 metres between your vehicle and their equipment, don’t pass equipment on double-lane highways, and watch for turning equipment.

Most importantly, slow down. Reducing your speed is the best way to keep yourself, other drivers and our crews safe. It makes it easier for you to maintain control of your vehicle and come to a stop safely.

Learn more about our winter operations.

Winter driving tips

If you can, avoid travelling during a winter storm or when road conditions are poor. Winter storms decrease visibility and can cause unpredictable conditions, which make it more dangerous for motorists.

You may also want to consider investing in winter tires. Alberta Transportation recommends those driving in severe winter conditions have winter or all-weather tires on their vehicle for improved traction and control.

Here are a few more tips to help keep you safe on the roads this winter:

  • Accelerate and brake slowly. Maintain traction by applying breaks or gas slowly.
  • Maintain visibility. Clear all snow and ice off your windows, side mirrors, headlights and taillights.
  • Stay visible. In addition to daytime running lights, always keep your headlights on and be sure to clear snow and ice off your vehicle.
  • Give yourself more room to stop. Allow at least four seconds between you and the vehicle in front of you. To calculate this, choose a landmark and count from the time the vehicle in front of you passes that landmark to when you pass that landmark and adjust spacing as needed.
  • Give advance notice to other drivers when making turns or changing lanes. Signalling further in advance helps other drivers react and adjust their driving as needed.
  • When travelling on snowy roads, try driving outside of the existing tracks for better traction, but be sure to stay within your lane.
  • If your vehicle begins to skid, take your foot off the brake and steer in the direction you want to go.
  • Keep your fuel tank more than half full. The extra volume adds weight to your vehicle which helps maintain better traction and the extra fuel could become useful if you are stuck in traffic or stranded.

No one wants their vehicle to get stuck in the snow; it can be embarrassing, and it can be scary. But if your vehicle does get stuck in the snow, you need to know what to do.

  • Try to stay calm.
  • Turn on warning lights or set up road flares to make your car visible. Avoid leaving your lights on for extended periods as this could deplete your vehicle’s battery.
  • If you can, try digging yourself out of the snow. Be mindful that shovelling in the intense cold can be deadly, so listen to your body and take breaks as needed.
  • Call for help; this could include calling 911 if it is an emergency, calling a family member or friend for assistance or calling a tow truck.
  • Stay in your car as much as possible to keep you sheltered from the conditions and prevent you from getting separated from your vehicle. Open a window on the side of your vehicle that is sheltered from the wind to let in fresh air.
  • Make sure your vehicle’s exhaust pipe is not obstructed by snow.
  • Keep your engine off as much as possible; this will ensure your fuel lasts longer and can prevent a carbon monoxide buildup.
  • If possible, use a candle placed inside a deep can instead of the car heater for warmth.
  • Keep your clothing dry to prevent loss of body heat and move your hands, feet and arms to maintain circulation.

Sturgeon County offices will be closed Monday, February 19 for Family Day. Offices will re-open Tuesday, February 20 at 8:30 a.m.

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