Winter driving, no date. Photo credit: ICBC

Winter driving, no date. Photo credit: ICBC

EDITORIAL: Preparing for winter driving

Precautions are important, especially in snowy and mountainous areas

While we have not yet had snow in the valley bottoms in our region, it’s time for motorists to get ready for winter driving conditions.

Temperatures across the province have been dropping in recent days and we have already had snow on some mountain passes. Snowy and slippery conditions will follow in the coming weeks.

READ ALSO: Winter tires required on majority of B.C. highways until end of March

READ ALSO: Environment Canada projects colder than average winter for Central Okanagan

Each year, the first snowfall of the year is characterized by accidents. Many are minor, but at times, there are serious and sometimes fatal collisions on our roads and highways.

According to provincial statistics, the number of fatal crashes in British Columbia more than doubles from fall to early winter, and in the Southern Interior, the number of fatal crashes increase nearly four times.

Many motorists have already had their winter tires installed for the season, while others have made appointments to have their tires changed. Some will also carry a snow shovel and other winter supplies in their vehicles in case of a cold-weather emergency.

Such precautions and others are important, especially in areas where snow and mountain roads can combine to create treacherous conditions during the winter months.

However, the most important part of winter driving is being prepared as a motorist. Driving in winter conditions requires extra attention and caution.

Slowing down and driving for the road conditions can help to reduce the risk of a winter collision. And when winter conditions are treacherous, it may be best to stay put and not keep off the roads until conditions improve.

Proper driving habits are important at all times of the year, but as winter approaches, a little extra caution and preparation will help to keep everyone safe.

– Black Press

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