Preparing For Winter With Voyageur Transportation
Winter appears to be here as most areas of Ontario have experienced their first blast (in varying degrees) of snow.
Having just completed our round of Winter Driver Meetings our team has safety at the top of their mind and wanted to share some important (and useful) winter safety tips. As with all safety discussions, our team evaluates how we can be proactive. What are things we can do as drivers and administrators that encourage safety before we even hit the road:
1. Pack a Winter Driving Kit. A well-stocked kit helps to handle any emergency and should include:
- Snow brush/ice scraper
- Warning devices such as emergency triangles or flares
- Extra windshield washer fluid
- Extra clothing (hat, pants, mittens, warm footwear)
- Flashlights with extra batteries
- First aid kit
- Snacks and water
2. Plan Ahead. A well thought out plan aids immensely in staying safe during winter:
- Plan your driving route in advance and get the most up-to-date driving conditions before departing. That way, if alternate routes are needed they can be planned for
- Take into account all types of winter delays when planning your route, be it slower traffic, reduced visibility, accidents and collisions
- Ensure a good, thorough pre-trip inspection is completed on your vehicle
- Remove snow and ice from your vehicle before departing
- Wear sunglasses on bright and sunny days.
3. Drive According to Conditions:
- Slow down. Remember that posted speed limits are for ideal travel conditions and so driving at a reduced speed during unfavourable conditions is your best precautionary measure against any misfortune on slippery roads
- Be alert. Winter presents a variety of conditions that are not common the rest of the year (i.e. black ice which tends to look like shiny new asphalt)
- Do not use cruise control. Winter driving requires you to be in full control at all times
- Always drive with low beam headlights on. They are brighter than daytime running lights and make you a more visible driver
- Lengthen the following distance in front of you. Stopping distance on slippery roads is double what is required in dry conditions
- Steer with smooth and precise movements. Quickly jerking the steering wheel can result in skidding
- Be patient.
By following the tips above and emphasizing the importance of safety, we can take an active roll in making the roads safer for everyone this winter.
Fabrizio Guzzo, Vice President – Schools, Charters and Transit, Voyageur Transportation Services