Winter arrived this week, with snow and icy temperatures in the East Kootenay, and as usual it seemed to take some drivers by surprise.
There were a number of minor accidents on local highways, most involving vehicles sliding off the road.
Sgt. Steve Woodcox of the Kimberley RCMP has some advice for drivers as we settle into winter.
“First of all, you’ve got to make sure your vehicle is properly equipped with good tires, and you have a brush and scraper to get all the snow off your vehicle.”
Because of the long, warm fall, some people might not have changed their tires over before the snow hit, and now there are long waits at local tire shops to get winter tires on. Next year, be proactive and get the tires changed early no matter the weather.
“Don’t tailgate,” he said. “You’ve got to give other vehicles a lot of distance in icy conditions.
“Keep your lights on, even in daylight, and pay attention.”
And, slow down and drive to conditions.
“100 kph is in ideal conditions,” Woodcox said.
He says sometimes people have a tendency to think that if they have a vehicle with four wheel drive, they are safer than others.
“Remember if you lose control in four by four, you are losing control of all four of your tires. Four by four doesn’t make you any safer.”
He also advises to be aware that there are so many animals in this area. If a car ahead of you slows down for animals, you could have rear-ended them before you get a chance to slow down.
Woodcox advises to brake before a turn so you can make it safely. And do not use cruise control in the winter.
“If you hydro-plane, cruise control will speed your vehicle up,” he said.