Yesterday afternoon, anyone travelling in the City of Barrie began to experience their first snowfall of the winter driving season. The majority of the collisions were property damage only, with no serious injuries being reported. In these cases, the involved drivers were instructed to exchange their information and to attend to the Collision Reporting Centre to make a report.

One collision did however result in a minor injury after the driver left the roadway and struck a tree.

Of the seven motor vehicle collisions reported between noon hour and midnight, the majority of them were preventable. As a result, Barrie Police is suggesting the following safe driving tips that will help experienced and new drivers to safely navigate city streets when driving on snow covered and icy roads.

Police recommend that if you own winter tires and haven’t installed them yet, reach out and make an appointment now. Traditionally, the first snowfall of the season catches many drivers off guard which can cause further delays in getting your tires changed over. Plan ahead next time and start thinking about getting this changeover done shortly after Thanksgiving, but  before Halloween.

Motorists should also take the time to make sure that they have a good quality snowbrush and make sure that it is in good repair, has been properly inspected and not damaged. A full windshield washer reservoir, properly  working windshield wipers (that don’t leave streaks) and carrying an extra jug of windshield washer fluid (winter grade) are three key components that will clearly allow you to see where you are going when snow and icy weather refuses to give up its hold.

Other things that should be considered to allow you to safely navigate winter driving is to have your fluid levels checked and topped up if necessary. Also, if your car is a few years old, or if you have your original battery, it should be tested as extreme summer heat and the cold of winter can weaken it significantly.

If you travel any distance, consider a winter roadside emergency kit – breakdowns or getting stuck can happen anywhere or at any time. These are available at stores that sell automotive products and can even assembled with items that you have around your home . A well-equipped kit should include: a small led flashlight, a booster cable or a battery boosting kit, a working cell phone charger, a foldable shovel, a first aid kit, a warm hat and a pair of warm gloves, a blanket, dry foods such as granola or cereal bars, some hand tools (wrench, screwdriver etc.) and some traction assistance devices (kitty litter here can work well) in case you get stuck. Also, a lighter (or matches that are kept in a sealed container or zip type bag), a small tin can, and a candle can be very useful as the candle can provide warmth; snow placed in the small tin can be melted and this in turn will provide you with a source of water. Refrain from bottled water as they will only freeze and will be of no good to you.

Taking time now that we have had the first warning of a return to winter is time well spent and when it comes to winter driving, please remember to reduce your speed, drive according to the conditions you are experiencing, increase the distance between you car and the car ahead of you, use your full lighting system or if you can, just stay home if inclement driving conditions are occurring.

Prepared by: Corporate Communications 


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