It’s official. Winter is here to stay. To help drivers stay safe during the winter months, here are some important safety tips from CAA Saskatchewan:
Check weather and travel conditions before heading out. If conditions are poor, delay travel if possible.
Consider putting winter tires on your vehicle. Rubber in all-season tires start to lose elasticity and harden at around seven degrees Celsius, significantly reducing the tire’s ability to grip the road.
Adjust your speed to weather and road conditions and make sure you have a full tank of fuel.
Slow down at intersections and pay special attention in school zones.
Leave a safe distance between vehicles, use turn signals well in advance and allow extra room to stop.
Avoid using cruise control on slippery roads.
Plan your route in advance. Allow extra time for travel and let others know your route and estimated time of arrival.
Carry a fully charged phone and a phone car charger should you need to call for help. CAA Roadside Assistance is available 24/7 for Members by calling 1-800-CAA-Help (1-800-222-4357).
Wear warm clothing and footwear, no matter how far you are travelling.
Pack an emergency vehicle kit that contains non-perishable food, water, blankets, extra clothing, flashlight, candle and lighter or matches and tin can, first aid supplies, booster cables, and a shovel. Visit your local CAA Saskatchewan office or shop online for a deluxe or standard roadside emergency kit.
Take your vehicle to a CAA Car Care Centre or CAA approved auto repair (AARS) facility to have it maintained for winter.
If you become stuck or stranded:
Stay with your vehicle for temporary shelter. It makes it easier for rescuers to find you.
Tie a brightly-coloured cloth to the antennae or place in a rolled up window to signal distress.
Run the engine just long enough to remove the chill. To prevent carbon monoxide from leaking into the vehicle, ensure the exhaust pipe is not clogged with snow or ice and check the exhaust system for leaks.
For fresh air, open a window slightly on the side away from the wind.
Occasional deep breathing and moving arms and legs rapidly will increase body circulation.
Don’t over exert yourself by trying to push a vehicle or dig it out of snow.
Learn more with the Automotive Industries Association (AIA) Canada’s “Be Car Care Aware” Winter Survival Guide or visit http://www.caa.ca/working-for-you/safe-driving/winter-driving.