Now that colder weather has arrived, Nova Scotia RCMP is reminding all motorists to adjust your driving habits for the change in temperatures by following these driving safety tips.
‘Being prepared for cold weather and winter driving conditions will help ensure that all road users stay safe,’ says Nova Scotia RCMP Cst.
Heidi Stevenson. ‘It can be as easy as ensuring your washer fluid is filled up to ensure your windshield clear or being prepared to react to deteriorating road conditions.’
-Always give yourself extra time to clear frost and snow from car windows, side mirrors, headlights and tail lights before hitting the road.
We’ve all seen those motorists who only clear a small area on the front windshield and then start driving. This is dangerous for everyone on the road, and it’s something police will issue a ticket for. For example, after a large snowfall ensure you clear your entire vehicle, including the roof. Uncleared snow can blow or fall off, creating visibility and roadway obstructions for other drivers.
-Slow down and drive with caution when the roads are wet or icy.
Always leave a safe amount of distance between yourself and the vehicle you’re following, especially on the highway. That way, if you need to make an emergency stop or your vehicle takes longer to stop due to road conditions, you’ll have more time to do so. Standing water on roads turns to ice as the temperature falls below freezing
-Ensure you have good winter tires on your vehicle.
Winter tires that are in good condition are essential for safe winter driving. Although they are not required by law in Nova Scotia, they are one of the most important investments a motorist can make. The rubber used to make winter tires is specially designed for cold weather conditions. It’s softer, which allows the tires to maintain better contact with the road. The treads are designed to grip the road better by displacing slush and snow. Also, remember that all-season tires are not the same as winter tires.
Additionally, motorists driving 4X4 or all-wheel drive vehicles may feel safer because of the improved traction control, but it’s important to remember that the stopping ability is not improved. Four and all-wheel drive vehicles can reduce your chances of getting stuck, but they won’t help you stop quicker in slippery conditions.
-Always carry an emergency kit in your vehicle.
The kit can include, but is not limited to food (that won’t spoil), water, first aid kit, blanket, whistle, wind-up flashlight, jumper cables, salt/sand, tow rope, fire extinguisher, extra clothing (including gloves), and road maps.