Winter Driving Tips

Toronto Police College

Whether it’s a police scout car or a personal vehicle the Toronto Police College Police Vehicle Operations Section would like to remind everyone that winter driving season is now upon us and we must be additionally aware of all hazards on the road.

Hereare some tips to assist in keeping safe on the road:

  • Keep yourFUELtank sufficientlyfull

  • Make sure you haveplenty ofWINDSHIELD WASHER FLUIDinthe reservoir and keep an extra jug in the vehicle

  • CLEAR SNOW AND ICEfromthe roof, hood, trunk and all windows, lights and mirrors. Afterstarting your vehicle, wait for the fog to clear from the interiorof the windows so you will have good visibility all around

  • Remember toCHECKTIRE AIR PRESSURE, asit decreases in cold weather.

  • Once in a skid,STEERIN THE DIRECTION OF THE SKID.To do this, look where you want your vehicle to go and steer towardthat spot. Be careful not to oversteer and release the offendingpedal

  • It takes vehiclesLONGERTO STOP in winterweather conditions and when driving downhill

  • It’s important to leavePLENTYOF SPACE between youand the vehicle ahead. A guide to safe spacing under normal drivingconditions is the two-second rule. In winter, and especially duringpoor weather conditions, double the two-second rule.

  • LOOK FAR AHEADso you can recognize hazards and have plenty of time to respond.Adjust your driving to the road and weather conditions.

  • SLOW DOWNto avoid sudden turns of the steering wheel and sudden braking andaccelerating, which could cause a skid. Extra caution should beexercised when driving in these road conditions.

  • Be careful when approaching shadedareas, bridges and overpasses, as these sections of roadFREEZESOONER in coldweather and STAYFROZEN long after thesun has risen. Watch out for frost and areas of the road that appearblack and shiny, as they can cause your vehicle to suddenly losetraction. Slow down and keep your foot off the brake as your vehiclecrosses these areas.

  • On snowy, wet and slushy roads, largetrucks and buses can blow moisture onto your windshield, leading toa suddenLOSS OFVISIBILITY. Alwaysdrive cooperatively and leave enough space to avoid snow spray

  • It is critical for drivers to see andbe seen in low light conditions and when blowing snow and white-outsimpair visibility.Whenevervisibility is poor, turn on the vehicle’sFULLLIGHTING SYSTEM

  • Weall want toMAKEIT HOME SAFELYat the end of shift so remember to watch yourSPEED,wear yourSEATBELTand makeSAFEDRIVINGa priority

A car driving past a snowbank in downtown area with large buildings surrounding
Vehicles make their way on Bay St. as snow piles up Photo: Kevin Masterman

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