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How Edmonton Drivers Can Stay Safe on Icy Roads

How Edmonton Drivers Can Stay Safe on Icy Roads

Snow season has lasted longer than usual. Since Edmonton is expecting more snow, it's vital Edmonton drivers know how to drive on icy roads.

Keyword(s): Edmonton drivers

The recent cases of extreme weather in Edmonton, Alberta led to road conditions being just as extreme. In a single day alone - the 11th of January, 2018 to be exact - the police received reports of 279 road collisions. 239 of these resulted in property damages, and another 17 in injuries.

This goes to show how Edmonton drivers face constant risks on the roads, further heightened by inclement weather. This also raises the importance of knowing the various ways to stay safe despite icy road conditions, such as ensuring we equip our vehicles with the right winter gear.

So, for all the drivers who regularly pass by Edmonton roads, here are a few things to keep in mind to stay safe on wet, slick, and icy roads.

Keeping Control of the Wheel

We may not have control over how nature would act. We have, however, control over what we can do to prevent it from putting us and other Edmonton drivers at risk.

Keeping our focus on the road at all times, setting up our vehicles with anti-skid winter tires, and having a disaster preparedness plan in case the weather takes a turn for the worse can make a huge difference in the safety of our snowy drives.

Setting Your Ride Up with Quality Winter Tires

Alberta doesn't legally require Edmonton drivers to use snow tires on snowed roads. It's our common sense that keeps nagging at us to put on those specialized tires on our rides once those white flurries start falling from the sky.

Winter tires are a great investment for many good reasons. You only need this one though: These tires keep a good grip on snowed roads, resulting in better traction.

Simply put, they'll keep you out of slippery trouble during the snowy season, when regular tires usually slid and skid. Remember, sliding and skidding are amongst the biggest causes of car crashes and road collisions.

Indeed, snow tires can be a pricey purchase. But the big difference in the traction and control they make should be enough reason for you to invest on them. And like how you'd take the time to buy a used car, you should take as much time as you need to carefully select your winter tires.

Beat the Winter with Your Driving-on-Snow Skills

Summer driving vastly differs from winter driving. Seasoned Edmonton drivers know this, but many of them still lack winter driving skills. So, whether you've seen your fair share of Alberta winters or you're new to Canada, it's best that you equip yourself with the skills they teach in winter driving school.

Comprehensive winter driving course programs provide hands-on training that'll help you drive more safely on slippery and icy roads. Here are just a few areas these courses cover:

  • What you should do in the event of skidding and sliding
  • Proper braking distance when it comes to driving in snow and ice conditions
  • Correct preparations to your automobile for the cold driving conditions
  • How to get your ride - and yourself - unstuck
  • The exact procedures if you find yourself involved in an accident

Again, this is something you'd spend money on. But, you'll learn skills and tricks you would have use for as long as you drive in Edmonton during the winter, so they're a worthy expense.

Keep Yourself in the Weather Loop

Before each time you head out during the snowy season, listen closely to the weather forecast. The Weather Network is a good place to start. You should also have at least one weather app on your devices so you can keep abreast of current, forecasted, and sudden changes in weather conditions.

Keeping yourself in the loop also lets you prepare before you even head out. Knowing how the weather is and will be later on gives you the chance to put on extra layer of clothes as needed.

There's No Time to Rush

That's right - rushing is never a good thing while driving on Edmonton's icy and slippery roads. If you have somewhere you need to be on a specific time, head out as early and as practically possible as you can.

You also should take into account others' driving. Even when you're a prudent driver, there's always the possibility of finding yourself stuck in traffic due to an accident.

So, the earlier you leave home, the more time you have and the less you'll feel the need to rush.

Traffic Preparedness

Traffic can get real bad in winter when the number of road collisions and accidents spikes. Even if they involve other Edmonton drivers, you still want to prepare for the terrible traffic. As a general rule, make sure you keep your gas and windshield washer fluids tanks near full.

Avoid driving in poor road conditions without a phone, or one with a battery about to run out. You never know when you need to make emergency calls, so it's better to err on the side of caution.

Driving Slower Will Take You to Your Destination Faster

This seems counterintuitive, but driving slower than you usually do on icy roads helps minimize risks of skidding and sliding. This means avoiding accidents, which in turn means you arrive at your destination safe and sound.

On the other hand, driving how you usually do on better road conditions can put you at risk of skidding. And when this happens, you'll lose control of the wheel.

When you do find yourself skidding, avoid slamming on your brakes or suddenly turning the wheel in the other direction. Instead, release both the gas and brake pedals. As you do this, regain control of the wheel and gently turn it to put the car back in the right direction.

A Final Winter Driving Safety Tip for Edmonton Drivers

Above all, never underestimate the importance of giving yourself and other Edmonton drivers enough space. Whether it's the car in front of you or the truck right behind you, keep your car at a safe distance. This way, even when sliding or skidding occurs, you (or they) won't immediately crash against each other.

Think your current car isn't safe enough to drive during the winter? Consider looking at our used automobile offers then. You may just find a more winter-ready ride that will keep you driving safe in Alberta's harsh weather conditions.

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