City Winter Driving

As I wake up this morning here in the GTA, and listen to the radio for weather and traffic reports, I hear of multiple collisions, and vehicles in the ditches all over the area. Even a semi jackknifed right by the airport on the 427 northbound on Wednesday morning and it just astounds me why this seems to happen every year. Winter driving in the highway is bad enough, but when you’re on city streets, it’s a totally different animal, especially during and immediately after the first serious snow fall. Until the ground freezes, the snow will partially melt in contact with the pavement and turn into slush. As more snow falls, it covers the slush, and the whole mess becomes extremely slippery. As a professional driver, it is our responsibility to exhibit and practice safe driving skills. One of these skills is to drive in a manner that allows for the bad decisions of less skilled drivers. One area to pay particular attention to is traffic lights. As soon as your light turns green, ALWAYS have a look left and right. There may be someone coming who, for whatever reason, can’t stop and will run the red light. Better to see them coming and wait, rather than be part of a serious collision. Hills will be a nightmare to ascend and descend and your stopping distance can more than double. If something unexpected happens, like being cut off, or a light suddenly changing, hitting the brakes like you would in July will probably lead to disaster. Your best bet in these conditions is to slow right down. Reduce your speed at least 30%. Don’t worry about the other traffic sailing by and giving you a dirty look. You’ll have the chance to “return the favour” when you pass them after they hit the ditch. When the roads are in less-than-ideal conditions, go slow. Your family wants to walk through the door at the end of your shift.