Time To Warm Up To Winter Driving

    Hot Tips For Keeping Safe In Cold Conditions

    QUEEN'S PARK, ON, Dec. 6 /CNW/ - The official start of winter may be
weeks away, but the season's icy roads and blowing snow are already here. To
help motorists get back into the swing of winter driving, Transportation
Minister Jim Bradley today reminded drivers of these important safety tips.
    "When winter weather first hits, the number of traffic collisions doubles
- mostly due to excessive speed and loss of control," said Bradley. "Drivers
need to be prepared, and adjust their driving according to the changing
    Here are some simple tips to remember when driving on winter roads:

      -  Plan ahead - Check weather and travel conditions before leaving. In
         poor weather, give yourself extra travel time or wait until
         conditions improve. It's best to not take chances if the weather is

      -  Spacing - It takes longer to stop on slippery roads. Keep a safe
         distance between you and the vehicle in front of you - twice what
         you would normally allow.

      -  Lighting - Turn on your vehicle's full lighting system in low light
         conditions such as blowing snow and whiteouts. Do not rely on
         daytime running lights.

      -  Visibility - Top up your windshield fluid and clear the snow and ice
         from all windows, lights, mirrors and roof. Loose snow from your
         vehicle could also blow onto other vehicles and block other
         drivers' vision.

    Keeping a vehicle in proper working condition for winter driving is
equally important:

      -  Make sure your vehicle is ready for winter by getting a maintenance

      -  Keep your gas tank at least half full. Engines burn more fuel in
         cold weather.

      -  Replace worn or damaged tires. Consider using winter tires that
         provide better traction in snow, slush and ice.

      -  If you get stranded, don't panic. Turn off your car to avoid carbon
         monoxide poisoning, and stay in your vehicle for safety and warmth
         and wait for help to arrive. Dialling 911 on your cell phone will
         connect you with your local emergency services contact centre.

      -  Keep a winter survival kit in your car: a candle and a small tin
         can, matches, blanket, extra footwear and some high-energy food,
         such as cereal bars.

    "Unexpected weather conditions demand better driving skills," Bradley
concluded. "Staying alert and keeping your vehicle in good working order could
save your life, and the lives of others."
    To help drivers plan ahead, information on road conditions across Ontario
and on safe winter driving is available on the Ministry of Transportation
website. Information on road conditions is also available by calling the
ministry's information line, toll-free at 1-800-268-4686, or 416-235-4686 in
the Greater Toronto Area.

    Disponible en français


For further information:

For further information: Bob Nichols, Communications Branch, (416)
327-1158; Public Inquiries: (416) 235-4686 (GTA), 1-800-268-4686 toll free,
1-866-471-8929 TTY

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