With a winter storm forecast for the Northeast Avalon, the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary (RNC) is reminding motorists that driving conditions could rapidly and unexpectedly change, creating dangerous hazards and challenges for drivers.
The RNC says motorists should check weather and road reports before they drive anywhere and avoid unnecessary travel.
In a news release today, the RNC offered the following advice:
• Allow extra time when travelling to and from destinations in winter and slow down. Travel below the posted limit and leave ample space between vehicles.
• Always assume road conditions will be slippery in winter.
• In general, drivers who find themselves stranded with their vehicle on a highway in winter should stay with their vehicle and await rescue. Use a cellphone to contact a tow truck or the police at 911. Any decision to leave the vehicle should be taken very carefully after considering all options. Nearby gas stations or homes may provide some shelter, but travelling even short distances in a snow storm by foot can be extremely dangerous.
Tips on preparing yourself and your vehicle for safe winter driving
• Check the current weather conditions and the forecast and monitor the media for weather and road conditions.
• Dress for winter even though you will be in your car. Then you will be prepared if you become stranded.
• Carry a cellphone to contact emergency services if you experience trouble.
• Carry a survival kit in your vehicle. For a description of a winter driving survival kit, visit: http://www.gov.nl.ca/fes/epw/readykitgo.html. Recommended items include a shovel, salt, blanket, booster cables, flashlight, high energy foods, matches and a candle.
• Ensure your vehicle is mechanically safe and sound.
• Put winter tires on your vehicle.
• Make sure your heater and defroster is working properly.
• Check all your lights to ensure they are working including your hazard lights.
• Make sure your windows are ALL clear of ice and snow.
• Ensure your wiper blades are in good working condition.
• Fill up your windshield fluid reservoir and make sure it's working properly.
• Have an ice scraper or snow brush in your vehicle to clear the snow and ice from all windows, mirrors, lights and roof.
• Keep your fuel tank at least half full so that you don't run out of gas if stranded, and to prevent condensation in your fuel tank.
• Have your vehicle fully serviced to avoid unnecessary breakdowns.
Newfoundland's winters can make for some of the most challenging winter driving in Canada, and the RNC is reminding motorists that these important
safety tips will go a long way in ensuring that you make it through winter safely.
The RNC is reminding people that safe driving habits save lives and reduce injuries on our roadways.
Information on highway conditions and alerts as well as live highway web cam images can be found on the provincial Department of Transportation and Works website at http://www.roads.gov.nl.ca/highwaydriving/default.stm.