Winter weather in Alberta can quickly change from nice to nasty in matter of minutes, and from one place to the next.
Safe winter driving starts with planning. Pay attention to weather forecasts along your route and check road conditions on the 511 Alberta website or Twitter account before you leave. Give yourself plenty of time to reach your destination: this will decrease the temptation to rush if you’re delayed by poor road conditions or heavy traffic.
When you’re behind the wheel, adjust your driving to suit the weather: posted speed limits are intended for ideal road conditions. Maintain extra distance between your vehicle and the ones in front of you so you can safely stop if the road is slippery.
It’s always a good idea to have an emergency kit in your vehicle – but it’s particularly important on longer trips and in more remote areas. These kits should include a blanket, booster cables, a candle, flashlight and winter accessories like a warm tuque and gloves.
Along with an emergency kit, make sure you have enough gas to idle and keep you warm if you run into trouble. Make sure your cellphone is charged and bring a charging cord or power bank to keep it working.
Last but not least, let someone know your route and estimated time of arrival. That way, someone can raise the alarm if you’re overdue and can’t be reached. And if nothing bad happens on the road, they’ll be happy to see you when you arrive on time.
Taking the time to plan could save your life, or someone else’s.