In case you missed it, Calgary is under a winter storm warning, with 25 to 30cm of the white stuff expected in the next couple of days. It may be good news for any snowboarders or skiers, but it can make for treacherous driving conditions, as was apparent with the last big snowfall last week.
Here are some tips for safe driving in nasty winter weather:
- Ensure your vehicle is ready: before you hit the roads in snowy or icy conditions, ensure your car has winter tires (or at the very least all-weather tires), window scraper, gas and washer fluid. You definitely don't want to be stuck running out of gas in freezing cold conditions.
- Drive slow and steady: despite how great you think your vehicle may be in the snow, it's always best to take it slow when conditions are really bad. You don't always have to worry about yourself, but other vehicles on the road who may be swerving or stopping abruptly. You also want to avoid taking sharp turns or making quick changes on the road.
- Leave enough space: leave space between your car and the car in front of you, more space than you normally would in ideal conditions. Again, it's not necessarily your own car you need to worry about getting out of control, but if you drive too close to someone and they slam on their brakes, you have a higher risk of a crash when roads are icy.
- Learn to brake: leave extra space before lights and stop signs for braking, and learn to brake before you hit turns instead of braking while you take them. You want to be slowed before you reach the turn. Also important to be aware what kind of brakes you have, if you have ABS (anti-lock braking system), your brakes will do the work for you so don't pump your brakes.
- Have your lights on: when snow is still falling, especially during early morning commutes or evening ones (since the sun goes down earlier now), make sure your lights are on. Not your automatic running lights, turn on your headlights and tail lights so you are easily visible by other motorists.
- Be aware: although you should always be paying attention when you drive, be particularly aware when driving in bad weather. You want to be as prepared as possible for any other motorists or pedestrians who could come into your path.
If you have some other winter driving tips that I've missed on this list, please get in touch on social media!