The Coalition For Safer Alberta Roads is focused on reducing collisions and fatalities on roads throughout Alberta, with a particular spotli...
Winter Driving Behavior
When you’re behind the wheel, driving safety should always be a top concern. As the weather turns, we must make a conscious decision to increase our awareness of road conditions and how we respond to them. We have identified some actions we can all take to help ensure everyone makes it home safely.
- Check 511.alberta.ca
511 Alberta is a free traveler information service, operated by the Government of Alberta, that can be accessed via phone, mobile device, or computer (www.511.alberta.ca). The information covers highway conditions, roadwork, major incidents, availability of ferry services, and waiting times at border crossings.
- Drive to the Conditions
Monitor conditions not only at your departure point but also your destination. If roads or weather are hazardous, do what you can to change your plans – wait until conditions improve, or allow plenty of time to get to your destination safely. Keep your windshield and windows clear and take the time to understand how your vehicle behaves in the snow.
- Don’t tailgate
A safe distance is the distance you must travel to reach a reference point in a certain amount of time. On dangerous surfaces, give yourself at least 10 seconds to come to a complete stop.
Remember: It’s not about car lengths, it’s about timing.
- No Cruise Control
Cruise control is not designed to be used in hazardous weather conditions – you want to maintain full control of your vehicle when driving conditions are less than optimal. Elements like ice, snow, sleet, and black ice all present their own dangers and every split-second matters, so it’s best that you are the one controlling the gas pedal.
- Turn On Your Lights
See and be seen! Make sure all the lights on your vehicle are in working order and free from snow and frost before setting out. Don’t rely on your running lights – low-beam headlights provide increased visibility to oncoming traffic, especially when falling snow may be diffusing any available light. If you have fog lights on your vehicle, use them, in addition to your low-beams.
Over time, your lights may dim and the plastic light covers will cloud over, leading to dimmed illumination; replacing both will ensure high quality lighting.
Perhaps the best advice is simply when road conditions are hazardous, avoid driving if at all possible. Wait until circumstances improve before attempting to venture out.