Alix Digout – January 2021
To quote the phrase made popular by Game of Thrones, “Winter is Coming…”. It is a well-known fact 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 when traveling during the wintertime to protect you, your family and others on the roads.
• Before you depart, review available 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 additional 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 snowplows while they are clearing snow. The blowing snow generated by snowplows can limit motorists’ ability to see oncoming traffic and the positioning of the snowplow’s wing blade. Additionally, when you see an approaching snowplow travelling in the opposite direction, move into the furthest right lane to avoid the salt and/or sand it throws.
• 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.
• Did you know your tail-lights are not on when your daytime running lights are on? Be sure to fully turn on your lights in poor weather or when visibility is reduced during the day and night.
• Be sure to clean off your vehicle to remove any buildup of snow and ice, which could obstruct your view and/or impact other motorists’ visibility – those driving behind you will also appreciate it!
• Arrange for a designated driver to take you home if you plan on indulging in alcoholic beverages following your winter activities.
• 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.
If you are unfortunately injured in a motor vehicle collision, MDW Law is pleased to offer a free initial consult to help guide you through the personal injury process and review your options and entitlement to insurance benefits.