5 things to remember when driving in winter conditions

Watch above: Online producer Caley Ramsay has a closer look at the Alberta 511 website, which helps drivers check the conditions before they head out.

EDMONTON — Winter driving in Alberta can be treacherous. Blowing snow can make for white-out conditions and adding slick roads in the mix can be down right dangerous.

Alberta RCMP recommend the following tips to keep yourself safe during winter driving conditions:

Winter tires

According to tire experts, once the temperature drops below seven degrees Celsius all-season tires lose their grip and braking distance. While winter tires are not mandatory in Alberta, they are recommended.

Slow down

RCMP urge drivers to slow down when the conditions are not ideal. The posted speed limit is intended for ideal road conditions and motorists can be charged with a traffic offence if you drive too fast for the conditions.

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Give yourself space on the road

Give yourself a greater distance between vehicles to allow your vehicle to stop safely if you have to suddenly hit the brakes.

Check the road report

For the latest road updates, motorists can call 511 or visit Alberta 511 also has a Twitter account and a mobile app.

“Before you set out, checking the website for road conditions and if there’s any traffic delays or if there’s any major collisions. Those are updated by the RCMP on So pre-planning ahead before you set out onto the roads would make your trek a whole heck of a lot easier,” said Sgt. Jeff Campbell, media relations with Alberta RCMP.

Emergency kit

Every vehicle should have a winter survival kit. Items should include:

  • Warm winter gloves, toque and boots
  • Blanket or extra clothing
  • Bag of sand or kitty litter
  • Small shovel
  • Ice scraper and/or snow brush
  • Booster cables
  • Non-perishable food items
  • Water bottles
  • Extra windshield washer fluid
  • First Aid kit
  • Road maps (not just a GPS unit)
  • Flashlight and batteries
  • Flares
  • Waterproof matches
  • Battery jumper cables
  • A fully-charged cellphone
  • Tools
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Duct tape

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