Keep up the Canadian spirit on the roads this winter

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Prevent accidents and reduce frustration with safety and winter driving etiquette tips

Toronto, ON (Feb. 2, 2018) – Winter driving is well underway, with unpredictable weather, slippery, daunting roads, and slow, frustrating drives.

CAA South Central Ontario is asking motorists to “bring their ‘Eh!’ game” for the rest of the winter season when it comes to the behaviours and attitudes that help make roads safer.

“As drivers, we often assume that we are doing all we can to be courteous and safe on the road, yet the perception that other drivers are not following suit, seems to persist,” said Kaitlynn Furse, manager of public relations, for CAA SCO. “As Canadians, tackling winter driving means being considerate, practising safety and patience, and treating fellow drivers as we each need to be treated on the road.”

CAA SCO shares the following “Eh! Game” winter driving etiquette tips:

  1. Remove snow and ice: Always thoroughly clean your vehicle to avoid ice hazards and blowing snow that can reduce visibility and safety for other drivers.
  2. No, please, after you!: Allow others to change lanes ahead of you. Letting a fellow driver to merge can help the flow of traffic for everyone on a cold and stressful winter day.
  3. Protect others’ personal space: Leave plenty of space between you and the vehicle ahead to give you time to react to any changes in traffic flow, such as unexpected, quick stops and movements.
  4. Adjust to Canadian winter drive time: Leave extra time to get to destinations safely by planning ahead when poor weather is expected. Checking weather reports and readjusting morning routines and evening commutes to avoid being rushed leads to better overall driving behaviour.
  5. The rearview window wave: Extend a friendly gesture to others to express gratitude for their acts of courtesy and then pay it forward.
  6. Respect old man winter: Always stay focused and drive accordingly. That may mean adjusting your speed when necessary.  Focus on driving to avoid being surprised by changes in another driver’s movements or road or traffic conditions.

Brett Moore, sergeant with Toronto Police Service, says, the posted speed limit doesn’t apply to winter weather, motorists should drive according to conditions.  “When you don’t leave enough space and distance in front of your car, and you lose traction, there’s no worse feeling in the world then when you know you can’t control your vehicle, and that’s when you’re a danger to everybody else.”

Kerry Schmidt, OPP sergeant, says that if you are driving and you see flashing lights on the road, you must slow down and move over. “When you are passing that area there may be people walking about, there may be debris on the ground, and it may be extra slippery. So please slow down, drive safely, be aware of your surroundings, and remember your actions will ensure that all emergency workers will be able to get home safely.”

Infographic

CAA SCO recently conducted a survey of members that looked at the perceptions and behaviours of drivers during the winter months. (CAA South Central Ontario)

CAA SCO recently conducted a survey of members that looked at the perceptions and behaviours of drivers during the winter months. (CAA South Central Ontario)

CAA SCO recently conducted a survey of members that looked at the perceptions and behaviours of drivers during the winter months. Some key findings include:

  • Members on average grade themselves with an A- for their winter driving abilities and grade others with a C+
  • Top weather conditions that worry members the most are freezing rain (94 per cent), black ice (94 per cent), blizzards (87 per cent) and over a few inches of snow (68 per cent).
  • Two-thirds of members surveyed have winter tires for their vehicle, while 82 per cent of those who do not have winter tires have no intention of purchasing them
  • 56 per cent have winter safety kits in their cars

For more tips and information on winter readiness, visit www.caasco.com/bewinterready.

About CAA South Central Ontario

As a leader and advocate for road safety and mobility, CAA South Central Ontario is a not-for-profit auto club which represents the interests of over 2 million members. For over a century, CAA has collaborated with communities, police services and governments to help keep drivers and their families safe while travelling on our roads. For more information, please visit www.caasco.com/.

SOURCE: CAA South Central Ontario

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