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Winter driving tips

The Ministry of Transportation and Ontario Provincial Police offer some tips for drivers during this winter when roads can be treacherous at times.

The ministry and its highway maintenance contractors work hard to keep Ontario’s highways clear and open to traffic during the winter. However, severe storms can exceed their ability to keep highways free of snow and ice. This may be caused by the amount of snow, timing or duration of the storm, high winds, freezing rain or a combination of all of these factors.

The M.T.O. offers these driving tips:

  • Always drive according to weather and road conditions. The posted speed limit is intended for ideal road conditions- in poor conditions, reduce your speed.
  • Keep a safe distance between you and the vehicle in front of you to avoid having to brake suddenly. Increase your following distance on wet and slippery surfaces to allow more time to stop.
  • Give yourself extra time to reach your destination, and postpone or cancel your trip if the weather does not improve.
  • Stay alert
  • Winter weather conditions can change quickly, placing extra demands on your vehicle and your driving skills.
  • Keep your focus on the road and on other vehicles around you.
  • Eliminate all distractions and make sure you are well rested before your trip.
  • Stay in control
  • Make sure you know how to handle your vehicle in all weather conditions.
  • Be familiar with your braking system and know how it reacts on snow and ice.
  • Keep your headlights on all the time – don’t rely on daytime running lights. Low beams are more effective than high beams in fog or heavy snow conditions.
  • Never use cruise control in winter weather.
  • Signal well in advance of turning to give other motorists time to react to your actions. Check your rearview and side mirrors, and always check the blind spots before changing lanes.