Gateway Gazette

AHS Wellness Weekly News: Be Wise at the Wheel

During the winter, it’s easy to blame vehicular collisions on snow, ice and poor visibility. Rarely do drivers point the finger at themselves. Yet, the truth is, no matter how skilled drivers are, winter or summer, road safety depends largely on their driving attitude. “A lot of people don’t think they are part of the problem. They like to blame it on the other guy or the weather,” says Sharon Richards of Alberta Motor Association  Driver Education.

These tips can help drivers make the right decisions on the road.

Stop tailgating

In 2009 in Alberta, driving too close was the number one reason for crashes involving a death or serious injury. Many drivers may feel they are keeping a safe distance when they’re not. “The rule we recommend is one car length for every 10 kilometres per hour of speed,” says Rick Gardner, acting director/deputy chief of the Alberta Sheriff Highway Patrol. In icy winter condition the distance needs to be two to three times more.

Slow down

When we get behind the wheel of a car, strangely every minute seems to count and we recklessly disobey speed limits just to get to our destination one minute earlier.

The risks of speeding increase during the winter as ice and snow drastically reduce the ability of tires to grip the road. “On icy roads, everything your car does should be slower,” says Gardner. “If you try to change lanes too quickly on black ice, or make any quick adjustments, you will lose control.”

Plan your route

Before leaving on a trip during the winter, plan your route and give yourself lots of time to reach your destination. Paul Oss, a public affairs officer with Alberta Transportation, also suggests you let someone know where you’re going, your planned route, destination and expected time of arrival. Alberta’s 511 telephone information line and website have the latest reports and conditions across the province. You can also check AMA Road Reports, at AMARoadReports.ca.

This article is courtesy of Apple Magazine

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