Winter Weather Demands More From Drivers

    McGuinty Government Offers Tips To Help Motorists Stay Safe

    QUEEN'S PARK, Feb. 15 /CNW/ - When gusting snow and icy roads make winter
driving a challenge, motorists need to be ready for sudden weather changes by
staying alert, slowing down, staying in control and expecting the unexpected.
    "Drivers need to be ready for whatever winter blows our way. Staying
alert and keeping your vehicle in good working order could save your life and
the lives of others," said Transportation Minister Jim Bradley.

    Before heading out, make sure you and your vehicle are well prepared for
    winter conditions:
    -   Make sure your vehicle has been made "winter ready" with a
        maintenance check-up.
    -   Keep your gas tank at least half full. Engines burn more fuel in cold
    -   Top up your windshield fluid and clear the snow and ice from the
        windows, lights, mirrors and roof.
    -   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.
    -   Check weather and traffic conditions. In poor weather, give yourself
        extra time or wait until conditions improve.

    Drive safely on winter roads:
    -   Spacing - it takes longer to stop on slippery roads. Keep twice the
        distance you would normally allow between you and the vehicle in
        front of you.
    -   Visibility - turn on your vehicle's full lighting system in poor
        weather. Do not rely on your daytime running lights.
    -   Snow plows, sand and salt trucks travel at slower speeds than regular
        traffic, and are often wider too - snow plows have large blades that
        may extend into the lane on either side of the plow and are never
        safe to pass. Keep a safe distance whenever you see the flashing blue
        lights of a snow removal vehicle at work.

    "Over the past few weeks, hundreds of vehicles have been involved in
collisions on major highways during blizzard conditions - sometimes closing a
highway for hours. Motorists have to pay attention, slow down and drive
according to weather and road conditions. Not only do they put themselves and
other drivers at risk, but OPP officers put their lives on the line responding
to these calls," said Ontario Provincial Police Commissioner Julian Fantino.

    -   Every year in Ontario nearly 65,000 traffic collisions occur during
        the winter months. The most common contributing factors to these
        collisions are:
        -  Loss of control (19.4 per cent)
        -  Driving too fast for road conditions (18.8 per cent)
        -  Failing to yield right-of-way (15.1 per cent)
        -  Following too closely (14.3 per cent)

    For the latest winter driving tips and information, download a copy of
<a href="">Ontario's Winter Driving brochure</a>.
    For information on road conditions, visit the <a href="">Winter Road Conditions</a>
webpage, or call the ServiceOntario Transportation Info line toll-free at
1-800-268-4686 (1-866-471-8929 TTY), or 416-235-4686 in the Greater Toronto

    Disponible en français


For further information:

For further information: Bob Nichols, Communications Branch, (416)
327-1158; Nicole Lippa-Gasparro, Minister's Office, (416) 327-1815; Public
Inquiries: (416) 235-4686 (GTA), 1-800-268-4686 toll free, 1-866-471-8929 TTY

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