Winter Weather Demands More From Drivers

Archived Release

Winter Weather Demands More From Drivers

Ministry of Transportation

McGuinty Government Offers Tips To Help Motorists Stay Safe
QUEEN'S PARK, Feb. 15 - When gusting snow and icy roads make winter driving a challenge, motorists need to be ready for sudden weather changes by staying alert, slowing down, staying in control and expecting the unexpected.
"Drivers need to be ready for whatever winter blows our way. Staying alert and keeping your vehicle in good working order could save your life and the lives of others," said Transportation Minister Jim Bradley.

Before heading out, make sure you and your vehicle are well prepared for
winter conditions:
- Make sure your vehicle has been made "winter ready" with a
maintenance check-up.
- Keep your gas tank at least half full. Engines burn more fuel in cold
weather.
- Top up your windshield fluid and clear the snow and ice from the
windows, lights, mirrors and roof.
- Keep a winter survival kit in your car: a candle and a small tin can,
matches, blanket, extra footwear and some high-energy food, such as
cereal bars.
- Check weather and traffic conditions. In poor weather, give yourself
extra time or wait until conditions improve.
Drive safely on winter roads:
- Spacing - it takes longer to stop on slippery roads. Keep twice the
distance you would normally allow between you and the vehicle in
front of you.
- Visibility - turn on your vehicle's full lighting system in poor
weather. Do not rely on your daytime running lights.
- Snow plows, sand and salt trucks travel at slower speeds than regular
traffic, and are often wider too - snow plows have large blades that
may extend into the lane on either side of the plow and are never
safe to pass. Keep a safe distance whenever you see the flashing blue
lights of a snow removal vehicle at work.
Contact Info
"Over the past few weeks, hundreds of vehicles have been involved in collisions on major highways during blizzard conditions - sometimes closing a highway for hours. Motorists have to pay attention, slow down and drive according to weather and road conditions. Not only do they put themselves and other drivers at risk, but OPP officers put their lives on the line responding to these calls," said Ontario Provincial Police Commissioner Julian Fantino.

- Every year in Ontario nearly 65,000 traffic collisions occur during
the winter months. The most common contributing factors to these
collisions are:
- Loss of control (19.4 per cent)
- Driving too fast for road conditions (18.8 per cent)
- Failing to yield right-of-way (15.1 per cent)
- Following too closely (14.3 per cent)

For the latest winter driving tips and information, download a copy of Ontario's Winter Driving brochure.
For information on road conditions, visit the Winter Road Conditions webpage, or call the ServiceOntario Transportation Info line toll-free at 1-800-268-4686 (1-866-471-8929 TTY), or 416-235-4686 in the Greater Toronto Area.

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www.mto.gov.on.ca
For further information: Bob Nichols, Communications Branch, (416) 327-1158; Nicole Lippa-Gasparro, Minister's Office, (416) 327-1815; Public Inquiries: (416) 235-4686 (GTA), 1-800-268-4686 toll free, 1-866-471-8929 TTY HELP | CONTACT US | PRIVACY | IMPORTANT NOTICES © Queen's Printer for Ontario, 2008-2009 — Last Modified: February 15, 2009 For further information: Bob Nichols, Communications Branch, (416) 327-1158; Nicole Lippa-Gasparro, Minister's Office, (416) 327-1815; Public Inquiries: (416) 235-4686 (GTA), 1-800-268-4686 toll free, 1-866-471-8929 TTY