Colder temperatures have already begun creeping into the region, as fall comes into full effect.
This time of year doubles the risk of being in a vehicle crash in the Okanagan and around B.C. according to Road Safety at Work, a program from WorkSafeBC.
“Winter is mother nature’s ultimate road test. We know even the most experienced drivers can really be tested in poor weather conditions with road conditions that are snowy, slippery or wet,” said Louise Yako, Road Safety at Work’s program director.
‘Shift into Winter’, a B.C. winter-driving campaign, is reminding Okanagan and B.C. drivers they need to be prepared and to plan ahead for the coming months.
“We really key on preparation for the ‘Shift into Winter’ campaign because you never know when it will start to get cold or snow so we are telling drivers today, they need to get prepared,” said Yako.
The ‘Shift into Winter’ campaign offers five important tips for B.C. drivers to keep them safe on roads this winter:
- Prepare your vehicle by installing a set of four winter tires with the 3-peaked mountain and snowflake symbol
- Give your vehicle a pre-winter maintenance check-up every year
- Carry a winter-driving emergency kit
- Check road conditions on DriveBC.ca before heading out
- Slow down to meet the road conditions
The importance of winter tires for BC’s Interior can not be understated as they begin to work at 7 degrees.
“Some people are really surprised that 7 degrees is that cut off temperature. So even if there is no snow on the ground, it is very often that winter tires are better for pavement grip,” Yako told Global News on Tuesday.
The campaign is also endorsed by the provincial government. The B.C. Minister of Transportation Rob Fleming said, “As the weather gets colder, being prepared for snow and icy conditions is critical for keeping yourself and others safe on the roads. I encourage all drivers to follow the Shift into Winter campaign’s helpful tips to get their vehicles ready for B.C’s winter driving conditions.”
Road Safety at Work also is advising that drivers should be mentally ready for the winter conditions as well.
“You can’t predict how your vehicle, or another driver’s vehicle, will react in snow or on ice,” said Yako. “Learn how to brake safely, get out of a skid, and become familiar with how your vehicle handles in winter weather. Think of it as building muscle memory.”