As the snow has continued to fall here in the NWT, road conditions have only become more troublesome.
Slippery roads and decreased visibility can make driving in Canadian winters a challenge. Get prepared by following a few simple tips.
Slow down – Fog, black ice, slush or snow-covered roads can make driving dangerous. Drive slowly and leave plenty of distance between vehicles.
Get winter tires – Traction is the key to good movement, turning and stopping on wet, slushy or icy surfaces. Check tires and tire pressure at least once a month when tires are cold and remember that tire air pressure decreases in colder weather. Winter tires provide additional traction in colder weather.
Top-up windshield fluid – Fill up on winter washer fluid and replace wiper blades that streak. Make sure there is enough windshield washer fluid in the reservoir and that it is rated in the -40C temperature range. Carry an extra jug in the vehicle.
Keep the gas tank topped up – When driving in bad weather, think caution, plan ahead and make sure you have enough fuel. Keep the fuel tank at least half full.
See and be seen – clear all snow from the hood, roof, windows and lights. Clear all windows of fog or ice. If visibility becomes poor, find a place to safely pull off the road as soon as possible.
Get an emergency car kit – Have the appropriate safety and emergency winter equipment always stored in your car. The basic emergency kit for cars should include the following items:
Food – that won’t spoil, such as energy bars
Water – in plastic bottles so they won’t break if frozen (change every six months)
Extra clothing and shoes
First aid kit – with seatbelt cutter
Small shovel, scraper and snowbrush
Candle in a deep can and matches
Whistle – in case you need to attract attention
Copy of your emergency plan
A few other items that can be useful; to have on hand include snad, slat, and cat litter, antifreeze, tow rope, jumper cables, and warning lights or road flares.