Prepare for winter driving hazards

Winter tires key to driving safety for work and leisure

RICHMOND, BC, Oct. 5, 2015 /CNW/ - Preparing your vehicle and yourself for driving in winter weather conditions will help keep you safe whether driving for work or leisure.

Start with your vehicle's tires. Install four matched winter or all-weather tires that display the three-peak mountain snowflake symbol.

Winter and all-weather tires offer the best traction in temperatures below 7°C, in rain, and on snow and ice. The result is a 30 per cent faster stopping time and shorter stopping distance.

Why? The rubber compound used in winter and all-weather tires stays soft and adheres to pavement when temperatures drop below 7°C, while the rubber in all-season and mud + snow tires hardens and loses its effectiveness in colder temperatures.

In all cases, your tires must be in good condition with a minimum tread depth of 3.5 mm.

Motor vehicle crashes can be costly for a company. According to WorkSafeBC, the average cost per work-related crash claim where a worker misses time from work is $51,000, more than 2.5 times the provincial average for all accepted work-related time loss claims.

On September 1, the Winter Driving Safety Alliance launched the free online Winter Driving Safety Course for supervisors and managers who have employees who drive for work; a resource that complements the existing Employer Tool Kit on the Shift Into Winter website.

These tools provide information about how to plan, implement and monitor a winter driving safety program.

Now is the time to prepare. Between October 1 and March 31, most BC highways require passenger vehicles to have three-peak mountain snowflake tires and commercial vehicles to carry chains.

Quotes:

Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour, Shirley Bond

"Being in the workplace means being on the road for some British Columbians, so it's very important that every driver in our province is mindful of the challenges associated with winter driving. By being prepared for winter conditions, we can ensure everyone gets home to their families safely at the end of the day."

Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Todd Stone

"The Shift Into Winter campaign is a great reminder for drivers to get prepared for the upcoming winter season. Sudden weather changes can make any rural highway treacherous – not just mountain passes. Don't forget to plan ahead and make sure you have the right tires on your car. They should have the snowflake or M+S symbol, and a minimum tread depth of 3.5mm. We want everyone to arrive safely at their destinations this winter."

WorkSafeBC Industry and Labour Services Manager, Mark Ordeman

"Driving is hazardous at the best of times, even more so during the winter months. Employers and supervisors should use all information and resources available to them to reduce the risks associated with work-related winter driving."

About the Winter Driving Safety Alliance

The Winter Driving Safety Alliance is a joint provincial initiative comprised of organizations committed to improving the safety of drivers during the winter months. They are the Ambulance Paramedics of BC CUPE 873, B.C. Road Builders and Heavy Construction Association, Justice Institute of British Columbia, Mainroad Group, B.C. Forest Safety Council, B.C. Trucking Association, Finning, Insurance Corporation of B.C., Kal Tire, Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, Pacific Coach Lines, RCMP, WorkSafeBC, the Automotive Retailers Association, the Trucking Safety Council of B.C., the City of Prince George, and the Tire and Rubber Association of Canada.

About WorkSafeBC:

WorkSafeBC is an independent provincial statutory agency governed by a board of directors that serves about 2.2 million workers and more than 215,000 employers. WorkSafeBC was born from the historic compromise between B.C.'s workers and employers in 1917 where workers gave up the right to sue their employers and fellow workers for injuries on the job in return for a no-fault insurance program fully paid for by employers. WorkSafeBC is committed to safe and healthy workplaces and to providing return-to-work rehabilitation and legislated compensation benefits.

SOURCE Road Safety At Work

For further information: To request an interview or image please contact: Lennea Durant, Media Relations, Road Safety at Work, Tel: 604-875-1182, lennea.durant@roadsafetyatwork.ca; Trish Knight Chernecki, Sr. Manager Government & Media Relations, WorkSafeBC, Tel: 604-232-5814, trish.chernecki@worksafebc.com


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