Alix Digout – December 2017
To quote the phrase made popular by Game of Thrones, “Winter is Coming…”. It is a well-known fact that the weather in Nova Scotia can change in an instant, so it is important to be prepared for driving in extreme conditions. Here are 10 simple tips to keep in mind before you hit the road during the busy holiday season:
- Before you leave, view the highway cameras to track road conditions along your intended route. The highway cameras can be viewed at https://novascotia.ca/tran/cameras/. You can also contact 511 for information related to highway conditions. For local road conditions, contact 1-888-432-3233. If you encounter dangerous road conditions, you can report them by calling 1-888-432-3232.
- Be mindful of the fact it is difficult to bring your vehicle to a complete and abrupt stop in slippery conditions. Keeping an extra distance between you and the vehicle in front of you will cut down on the risk of fender-benders and more serious collisions.
- Do not use cruise control in snowy and icy conditions. Using cruise control on wet surfaces can limit traction and cause you to lose control of your vehicle.
- Do not pass snow plows while they are clearing snow. The blowing snow generated by snow plows can limit a driver’s ability to see oncoming traffic and the position of a snow plow’s wing blade. Additionally, when you see an approaching snow plow travelling in the opposite direction, move into the furthest right lane to avoid the salt or sand it’s throwing.
- Keep a winter survival kit in your vehicle. Useful items to have, include: batteries, flashlights, non-perishable snacks, water, candles, matches, blankets, booster cables, sand/kitty litter for traction in icy conditions, tow cables, extra windshield washer fluid, and a small shovel.
- Ensure your headlights and tail lights are turned on during the day and evening, especially in adverse conditions.
- Be sure to clean off your vehicle to remove any build up of snow and ice, which could obstruct your view. Those driving behind you will also appreciate it!
- Make sure there’s a designated driver to take you home if you plan on indulging in festive cocktails!
- If at any point the conditions are too treacherous to continue, pull over in a safe place and wait for the bad weather to pass.
- Slow down and give yourself plenty of time to arrive at your destination. It’s the holidays after all…relax!