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Some Driving Advice for the Winter Season

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.

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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
Crank flashlight
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.

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