Winter driving in Alberta can be treacherous. Blowing snow can make for white-out conditions and adding slick roads in the mix can be dangerous.
Alberta RCMP recommend the following tips to keep yourself safe during winter driving conditions:
According to tire experts, once the temperature drops below seven degrees Celsius, all-season tires lose their grip and braking distance. While winter tires are not mandatory in Alberta, the RCMP and other local authorities do advise that all vehicles be equipped with four good winter tires when driving in severe weather conditions.
RCMP urge drivers to slow down when the conditions are not ideal. The posted speed limit is intended for ideal road conditions and motorists can be charged with a traffic offence if you drive too fast for the conditions.
Give yourself space on the road
Give yourself a greater distance between vehicles to allow your vehicle to stop safely if you have to suddenly hit the brakes.
Check the road report
For the latest road updates, motorists can call 511 or visit 511alberta.ca. Alberta 511 also has a Twitter account and a mobile app.
Before you set out, checking the website for road conditions and if there’s any traffic delays or if there’s any major collisions. Those are updated by the RCMP on 511.ca.
Every vehicle should have a winter survival kit. Some items to consider are:
• Warm winter gloves, toque and boots
• Blanket or extra clothing
• Bag of sand or kitty litter
• Small shovel
• Ice scraper and/or snow brush
• Booster cables
• Non-perishable food items
• Water bottles
• Extra windshield washer fluid
• First aid kit
• Road maps (not just a GPS unit)
• Flashlight and batteries
• Waterproof matches
• Battery jumper cables
• A fully charged cellphone
• Fire extinguisher
• Duct tape