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Thursday, 4 October 2012

In light of Calgary's head start on winter...

Aside from suggesting that you consider trick or treating with a snow suit under your Halloween costume this year, it seems prudent (in light of Calgary's head start on winter weather) to review some safety tips for driving in inclement conditions...especially at the start of the season, when drivers might still be in autumn driving mode.

  1. Be visible. If your drive corresponds with a current session of snowfall, visibility is going to decrease for everyone on the road, so remember to use your lights. Additionally, don't make the already challenging task of letting other drivers see you by weaving and lurking in blind spots.

  2. Related to point one, make sure you can see. Remember your corrective eye wear if this applies to you. Also, be sure to remove barriers from your vision around your vehicle, such as snowfall on the exterior, and fog in the interior. Make sure you can see out of all windows before taking off.

  3. Check traffic and weather reports before your trip. Yes, it's one more thing to add to your routine, but it can usually be done simultaneously with other tasks with the flick of a switch so that it doesn't add any more time to your busy rush. It will save you a ton of time, frustration, and even danger in the long run.

  4. Slow down. You don't need to drop your speed to a measly fifteen clicks an hour, but be honest about your capabilities when it comes to driving in winter weather, and recognize that there are simply more factors that are not in your control during this season. You may not be able to stop as suddenly as you are used to in the summer, so flooring your pedal to make it through a changing light could be disastrous. Additionally, decreased visibility means that your perception will be a bit off, so don't assume it's safe to aggressively throw yourself into a tight squeeze when it comes to turns and other moves that depend on a clear road.

  5. Get your winter tires on. These will give you better traction, which will return some of that control which you've lost.

  6. Drive defensively. If you notice another driver in your vicinity who is driving recklessly, don't challenge them; move away, and stay safe.

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