Wednesday , 8 December 2021

Drive safe as Winter touches down in the Lakeland

Snow doubt about it Lakeland, here we snow again. With the new snow, comes slippery driving conditions, therefore the Bonnyville Regional Fire Authority (BRFA) and the Bonnyville RCMP are asking you to remain vigilant and drive safe this Winter Season.

Let’s face it, Winter weather is hard on your vehicle and your nerves as you navigate our snowy roads. On Wednesday, November 10, the Lakeland received its first snowfall. Winter driving can pose difficult driving conditions along with poor visibility so it is important to be vigilant and alert when driving.

Dan Heney is the Acting Regional Fire Chief for the BRFA.

“Allow more time for your trip so that you’re not rushed, make sure to fully clear your vehicle of ice and snow, allow for longer stopping distances and be very aware of the traffic around you,” Acting Regional Fire Chief Heney told Lakeland Connect.

Motorists should keep in mind that If visibility becomes poor, find a place to safely pull off the road as soon as you can. It’s best to stop at a rest area or exit the roadway and take shelter in a building. Always remember to match your speed to the road and weather conditions. Avoid passing another vehicle when weather and road conditions are bad. When you drive on a snow-covered road there may be more snow or slush between lanes than in the lane, making changing lanes more difficult.

If you must drive, check weather and travel conditions before heading out. Give yourself extra time for travel and, if weather is bad, wait for conditions to improve.

Winter tires are important and you must ensure your winter tires have at least 50 per cent tread left for the safest winter driving. Tires should be inspected by a knowledgeable professional to ensure they continue to be safe to use. Put the best tires on the rear of the vehicle to help maintain directional control. This means tires with the deepest tread depth should be installed in the back – however, tires that are rotated sufficiently often should have similar tread depth. Insurance companies may also provide a discount if you use winter tires.

Check tire pressure often, especially before any highway driving or before long trips. Properly inflated, high-quality winter tires in good condition will give you the best traction on winter roads and increase fuel efficiency.

A tire that has good pressure when checked in a warm garage will be under-inflated when it is below zero outside. Tire pressure goes down in the cold, which is why you should do your checks when the tires are cold. Use the maximum pressure amount shown in the owner’s manual or on the doorframe as a guide, but never go above the pressure shown on the tire sidewall. Check your spare tire pressure regularly as well.

Having four matching tires (per the vehicle’s tire placard or owner’s manual) is essential to maintain safe vehicle handling. Never mix tires with different tread patterns, internal construction, or size.

Make sure that your wipers are in good condition. Replace blades that streak. Buy wipers designed for winter. Fill up on winter washer fluid in the -40°C temperature range and carry an extra jug in your vehicle.

Sgt. Sarah Parke is the Detachment Commander with the Bonnyville RCMP.

“With winter weather upon us, the Bonnyville RCMP would like to remind motorists of the importance of driving according to road conditions,” Sgt. Parke told Lakeland Connect. “Give yourself extra time when pulling out onto a roadway and slow down sooner when approaching intersections.”

Sgt. Parke says it is equally important to ensure your vehicle is winter-ready.

“Set yourself up for success by taking the time to fully scrape frost off your entire windshield and side windows and ensure your tires are rated for winter roads,” Sgt. Parke said. “Travel safe.”


About Arthur C. Green

Arthur C. Green is from Whitbourne Newfoundland and graduated from the CNA Journalism Program. Arthur also studied Business Marketing and Political Science at Memorial University in Essex England and St. John's Newfoundland. Green has worked for such organizations as CBC, CBC Radio, NTV, Saltwire, Great West Media, CKLB Radio, Vista Radio, and Postmedia. He also loves Jiggs Dinner!