Police urge drivers to consider safety ideas for winter driving

Where are your snow tires?

Those who answered “in the garage, in the shed, or I haven’t bought them yet,” would not have been alone on Nov. 1.

The Wellington County OPP is advising motorists to start thinking about winter driving.

Shorter days and fluctuating temperatures along with occasional sleet and snow are vivid reminders that winter is on the way and treacherous driving conditions can be present at any time, said OPP Constable Mark Cloes.

Snow squalls can create dangerous driving conditions that can contribute to collisions.

The start of the winter presents some of the worst driving conditions of the entire year.

Cloes said there are rapid fluctuations in the weather, which, by extension, greatly influences road conditions. The ground and pavement are still relatively warm, so sleet or snow often forms ice or heavy slippery slush.

Bare pavement could be mixed with ice patches, loose snow, or ground drifting. Pavement in the sun might be clear while a shaded area on the next curve is covered in ice. Sleet, freezing rain, snow, or a combination of the three is always a possibility as the temperature hovers around the freezing mark.

Cloes noted those are just some of the road conditions encountered by motorists this time of the year.

Taking control of a vehicle that is about to crash is difficult at best and the outcome is not always predictable. Anticipating problems and taking steps toward collision avoidance is a far better choice so here are a few key points that might make a difference:

– Tires play a major role in the handling and braking of any vehicle, especially in adverse road conditions. Typically the lighter, rear end, of a vehicle is prone to lose traction and break free when tested with emergency manoeuvres. Snow tires are far more effective then all-seasons and should be on all four wheels of the vehicle

– Tires aside, drivers must adjust speed according to weather and road conditions at all times. Driving below the posted speed should be something you expect to do, so remember to reduce the speed.

– This time of the year weather and road conditions change fast and often. In fact, the road conditions might be different around the next curve, so remember to be attentive.

– Deer and other animals are on the move, so remember to watch for animals.