Handling Tricky Winter Driving Conditions
While most drivers in BC know that its important to drive based on the conditions of the road, quite often we fail to adjust our driving when winter arrives, and the result is a sharp increase in crashes and fatalities throughout the province. To stay safe, you not only need to drive carefully and within speed limits, but must also allow for a margin of error should you or another driver on the road make a mistake. Here are a few of the elements involved in staying safe on winter roads:
- Your Vehicle: For the few minutes it takes to conduct regular vehicle inspections, there is no reason you should be operating a vehicle with mechanical problems. First and foremost, make sure you are confident in the vehicle you are driving.
- The Environment: Be aware of the road surface, lane width, grade, and sighting distance of the environment around you - and adjust your driving accordingly. Determine your visibility in changing temperatures and precipitation, as well as how they will affect your traction and braking. Adjust your speed and distance between other vehicles accordingly. Take in as much information visually as possible, watching the cars ahead of you, the ditches beside you, the curve ahead of you, oncoming traffic - these things all matter far more than the scenic view or your phone.
- You As Driver: As the driver, its up to you to safely maneuver your vehicle through the environment. Your ability to react quickly, correctly, and effectively is based on things such as your experience, how rested and alert you are, your level of patience, your ability to anticipate, whether you are properly hydrated and fed, as well as your physical and mental fitness. If you find that you are complacent, fatigued, driving aggressively, distracted mentally, or have visual impairments, the result may be poor decisions and slower reaction times.
It is important to recognize your state of mind, skills, and any limitations both temporary and permanent. Driving is a complex act we often take for granted. Remind yourself to make sure your vehicle is safe and you know what's going on around you - make sure you're not a winter driving statistic!
For more information, please see November 2014 - Driving for Conditions by Road Safety at Work (November 4, 2014).
Tia Chisholm, HUB International TRANSPORTATION
HUB International TRANSPORTATION specialists are based in Vancouver. Our longstanding relationships with the best providers in the business allow us to deliver the solution that serve you best. With HUB, you can run your business knowing that you are headed in the right direction.