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‘If you see snow – go slow’: OPP asking drivers to be part of the solution in preventing crashes this winter

MIDWESTERN ONTARIO – The Huron County OPP is reminding motorists that it’s absolutely imperative that they adjust their driving to the road and weather conditions. With a snow squall warning now in effect for most of Huron County, drivers need to be prepared for possible hazardous driving conditions. Reduced visibility and deteriorating road conditions should be expected thus drivers need to be prepared.

Huron OPP is asking drivers to be part of the solution to reduce the number of preventable collisions this winter. Poor driving behaviour such as speed too fast for conditions – not poor weather or road conditions – is often the primary contributing factor in many winter crashes. Motorists need to understand that the way they drive in the winter needs to be very different than how they drive the rest of the year.

There is no secret to safe winter driving. If you see snow – go slow. Make sure you look far ahead when you drive so you can recognize hazards in advance and have plenty of time to respond. Modern vehicles with all-wheel drive, electronic traction control and snow tires will help you keep control, but they are not a substitute for slowing down.

Of course it only makes sense to check weather and travel conditions before heading out. Don’t take chances if the weather is poor. Allow yourself extra time for travel or wait until the conditions improve.

Another important message is the need for all drivers to use their full set of headlights every day throughout the winter months.  Using your full set of headlights is the only way to completely engage your rear lights and this is critical in helping to reduce the risk of collisions when driving in poor visibility.

The OPP is encouraging drivers to use MTO’s Ontario 511 Traveller Information Services which provides easy access to up-to-date winter information on road conditions and road closures on provincially maintained roads.

Do not call 911 or the OPP communication centre for road and weather updates as your call could be tying up a line for an emergency situation. Please dial 511, check with your local media outlet or online resources but do not call 911 for this information.

Drivers are also encouraged to equip their vehicle with an emergency survival kit. In an emergency situation having food, extra blankets, a first aid kit and a charged cell phone could save your life.

Further information pertaining to emergency survival kits, vehicle preparation, and safe winter driving tips can be found by visiting www.ontario.ca/winterdriving