Winter Driving Tips: “Slow down, Stay alert and Stay in control.”

The Peterborough Police Service reminds motorists to always plan ahead before heading out on roads during the winter and to, “slow down, stay alert and stay in control.

Check your vehicle

  • Get your vehicle winter-ready with a maintenance check-up. Carry an ice scraper and washer fluid effective to -40oC. Keep your fuel tank at least half full. Consider installing four winter tires. You’re eligible for an auto insurance discount if you use them.
  • Plan ahead, use your judgement
  • Plan your trip, locate your stops and check the weather and road conditions often before heading out. Use your judgement too – delaying your trip may be the best option. If you’re on the road when conditions worsen, find a safe place to pull well off and wait.
  • Pack an emergency kit
  • Create a survival kit and have emergency supplies with you – a charged cell phone, non-perishable food, water, flashlight, blanket, warm clothes, jumper cables, shovel and traction mats or sand.

Clear snow and ice from your vehicle

Make sure you clean all windows, mirrors, lights and the roof. Wait for any foggy windows to clear up so your visibility isn’t poor.

Slow down, stay alert and in control

  • Many winter collisions occur because drivers are going too fast for road conditions. Slow down and allow extra space between you and other vehicles.
  • Focus on your driving and put away cell phones and other distractions. Look for reflections on the road – what looks like water may actually be ice.
  • Steer gently on curves and in slippery conditions. Hard braking, quick acceleration and abrupt gear changes can cause you to skid.
  • Avoid using cruise control on wet, snowy or icy pavement – it reduces your reaction time and vehicle control. If you do skid, release your brakes and steer in the direction you want to go. Be careful not to over steer.

Share the road and watch for snowplows

  • Avoid crowding into the lane of on-coming traffic – this can result in head-on collisions.
  • Drive slowly near working snowplows and don’t pass them – it’s dangerous. Be patient and give them room. They will pull off once they reach the end of their route.

Obey road closures

Do not drive on closed roads – it’s against the law. Always obey emergency closure signs and follow the directions of police officers. Remember – the roads are closed for your safety.

For more information please visit the Ontario Ministry of Transportation