Winter road conditions across British Columbia can be both challenging and unpredictable.
ICBC is asking drivers who will be travelling this winter to get prepared and adjust their driving to the weather conditions.
Here are ICBC’s winter driving tips:
• Before you begin your trip, check the road and weather conditions on www.drivebc.ca for your entire route. Weather conditions can change drastically along your route, so make sure you’re prepared for all of the weather conditions you may encounter and give yourself extra travel time to get to your destination.
• For your safety and the safety of other drivers, ICBC recommends using winter tires if you live in an area where you would normally expect a lot of snow, or if you’ll be travelling to an area with these conditions. Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure can designate snow tires to be required on certain roads and highways, and if you are driving without them, police can ticket you and make you turn back.
• Check your tire pressure, as tires can deflate quickly in the cold and overinflated tires can reduce gripping.
• Use low-beam lights in snowy conditions and don’t use cruise control on slippery roads.
• Keep your gas tank full to prevent freezing in extreme temperatures and pack an emergency kit in your vehicle in case you get stranded.
• Drivers need to adjust their driving behaviour to the road conditions. For instance, a speed limit of 90 km/h on a highway is for ideal conditions only. With conditions far from ideal right now, drivers need to slow down and increase their following distance so they have time to react to the unexpected.
• While black ice is nearly impossible to see ahead of time, it is commonly found on roads with shaded areas, bridges, overpasses and intersections where vehicle exhaust and packed snow freezes quickly. If you drive over black ice and begin to skid, don’t use your brakes. Instead, ease off the accelerator and look and steer smoothly in the direction you want to go. You may need to repeat this manoeuvre several times until you regain control of your vehicle.
For more tips on winter driving, including information on black ice and winter tires, visit www.icbc.com/road-safety.