When is bad weather, bad enough?
Recently, there was a terrible snow storm across our region. The conditions were so bad that transport trucks and cars were stranded along the freeway with the occupants still inside them for hours upon hours (http://bit.ly/ebfTqU). Getting to work is a large part of what we do throughout our lives, but when should you abandon that choice and stay home?
Some of the people mentioned in the above article did the proper thing and got off the road and stayed overnight in a hotel. When you’re dealing with bad winter weather, it’s always a good thing to check the weather network the night before you travel. If they’re calling for bad weather, make alternative plans. I know you may want to get home, but being stranded in your vehicle isn’t any good either.
As a driving instructor for Young Drivers of Canada, I would always check the weather each night and decide if I should cancel the driving lessons for the next day. It’s often been said that it’s a good thing to learn to drive in snow with a professional, but if that means traveling at a crawl and risking being hit by other drivers, what are my students learning? If anything, they’re learning they should have stayed home!
So, let’s say you’re starting your drive and as you continue, the weather starts to worsen, what do you do? Besides driving with your low beam headlights on, the first thing is to turn off that music and put on a news and traffic station. They can let you know what the conditions further ahead may be like. They can also update you on the weather situation. If it begins to become more difficult to drive, leave the roadway and if possible, turn back. Seeing vehicles in the ditch isn’t a good sign. Why wait until you can barely move your vehicle through the snow before you say that’s enough?
If you end up being stuck, having enough supplies in your vehicle may help you survive. Check out http://bit.ly/ca7wll for more survival kit ideas. Stay on main roads as they are more likely to be ploughed than quieter sub-divisions. Busier roads will also make it easier for you to drive and the tracks that the other vehicle have made will flatten the snow enough to help you move along. Keep extra space in front and the sides of your vehicle until you reach your destination. This will give you room to move in case your vehicle slides or in case the vehicles near you slide.
Regardless of how far you go through the winter storm, you need to be prepared and don’t try to go further than possible. Being smart is often better than being brave.
**For more winter driving tips, try this HERE