Categorized | News

Seniors receive tips on winter driving safety

Regional traffic safety co-ordinator Kevin Brandvold spoke to Fort Macleod seniors last week about winter driving.

Regional traffic safety co-ordinator Kevin Brandvold had simple advice last week for Fort Macleod seniors about winter driving.
Be prepared.
“You really want to think about planning ahead and making sure you have the resources if you’re stranded on the side of the road,” Brandvold said. “It just never hurts to plan ahead.”
Brandvold was guest speaker Nov. 15 at a session at the Welcome Mat hosted by Fort Macleod Family and Community Support Services.
A former police officer who worked on highway patrol, Brandvold told 14 people at the Welcome Mat winter tires and emergency supplies ease the risk of a tragedy.
Brandvold told the seniors planning a road trip to check the weather forecast and if possible, go on-line to check the AMA road cameras that show present conditions.
People should keep their vehicles well-maintained, check their tires to ensure they have air and are not overly worn, make sure lights are working and keep windshield washer fluid topped up.
“Always make sure you have adequate gas,” Brandvold added.
Brandvold told the seniors to remember stopping distances are shorter on icy roads, and recommended using winter tires.
“The difference is night and day,” Brandvold said of winter tires. “In my opinion there is a dramatic improvement on how your vehicle will handle and drive.”
A vehicle should be equipped with four winter tires, and not just on the back.
“If you need traction on the back, you need traction on the front,” Brandvold said.
People planning a road trip should pack their vehicle with extra clothes, mittens, granola bars, water and a cell phone and charger.
A candle in a tin can and matches are also useful for heating a vehicle that gets trapped in the snow.
Brandvold also recommended buying a GPS unit.
“You’re never lost. That’s the best part. They’re very useful and very handy.”
Brandvold told seniors to stay in the vehicle if its breaks down or slides off the road and gets stuck in the ditch.
Leaving the vehicle to attempt to walk to a resident puts people at risk of injury or getting lost. In frigid temperatures, that can put one’s life in jeopardy.
“Eventually someone will find your car,” Brandvold said. “You need to stay with your car.”
If you’re trapped in a vehicle in -30 Celsius, that’s a 911 emergency, Brandvold said.
Top 10 Tips

  1. Get your vehicle ready for winter in the fall.
  2. Install four matching winter tires.
  3. Pack an emergency kit.
  4. Lean and practice winter driving techniques before you need them.
  5. Plan your trip, and check road and weather conditions.
  6. Remove all snow from your vehicle before each trip.
  7. Give yourself extra travel time in bad weather.
  8. Avoid using overdrive and cruise control on slippery roads.
  9. Travel with a fully charged cell phone.
  10. Slow down and wear your seatbelt.

Comments are closed.