Heading into the winter season, the Winter Driving Safety Alliance is reminding drivers to plan ahead and drive to the road conditions.
Last year, ICBC reported about 200 winter crashes in the Bulkley Valley and Lakes District, over half of which occurred in Smithers.
Road Safety at Work Program Director Trace Acres said driving in the winter is different compared to other times of the year, and more dangerous.
“No one is a perfect driver. You can’t always predict how your vehicle or other vehicles will react in winter conditions,” he said.
When preparing to travel for the holidays, it’s recommended to:
- Avoid driving when conditions are poor. Use DriveBC.ca to check weather and roads before setting out.
- Have 4 matched winter tires in good condition on your vehicle. Road Safety at Work recommends tires with the 3-peaked mountain and snowflake symbol for the best traction.
- Adjust driving for the conditions to maintain full control of your vehicle. Slow down and leave at least 4 seconds between you and the vehicle in front to allow yourself time to react.
- See and be seen. Clear all snow and wait for the windows to defrost completely before setting out. Install new wiper blades and always have your lights on.
- Give driving your full attention and avoid distractions such as your phone.
- Watch for changes in your usual routes, such as roadside work zones.
- Carry an emergency kit with supplies you may need if you get stranded even for a few hours.
Yesterday (Tuesday), a semi went off the road near Tatlow Road in Smithers due to icy conditions which reduced Highway 16 to single lane, alternating traffic for about 2 hours.