Winter Driving Safety Tips to Avoid Car Accidents in Alberta
Canadian winter officially lasts four months; however, snow and ice in Alberta can provide challenging road conditions anywhere from September to April. Albertans are familiar with long winters, but accidents happen nonetheless. Alberta Traffic Collision Statistics demonstrate that of 132,072 collisions recorded on Alberta roadways in 2019, slush, snow or ice was involved in 24.7% of fatal crashes and 27.3% of non-fatal injury collisions.
If you have been injured in a car accident caused by another driver, you may be eligible for financial support in your recovery. Contact our Edmonton personal injury lawyers today to schedule a consultation.
While the weather is beyond drivers’ control, there are many precautions they can take to stay safe during the Alberta winter, including avoiding road travel during winter storms. If travel is necessary, or if winter conditions are moderate, there are a variety of measures drivers can take to avoid an accident.
Winterize Your Vehicle
Before winter conditions hit, it is wise for drivers to service their vehicles to prepare for the challenges they may face on the roads. This includes checking the battery, cooling system, brakes, wipers, engine parts and fluids. Switching to winter tires will offer drivers the best performance in slippery conditions.
Have an Emergency Kit
Every vehicle should have an emergency kit if drivers become stranded or injured. Emergency kits can be customized to each individual or family’s needs. However, most kits should include the following essential items:
- First aid kit
- Fire extinguisher
- Road flares
- Jumper cables
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- Road map and compass
- Drinking water and non-perishable snacks
- Extra warm clothing and blankets
- Toilet paper and hand sanitizer
- Sand, road salt or non-clumping kitty litter
- And possibly more
It is advisable to check the local forecast before heading out. If possible, test local roads to determine if conditions are favourable. Once drivers are on the road, safe driving techniques may reduce the chance of a car accident. These include:
- Drive slower than posted speed limits, which are intended for ideal road conditions
- Leave at least three times the usual distance between vehicles, in case sudden braking is required
- When changing lanes, signal clearly and leave ample time for other drivers to anticipate and respond
- Accelerate, steer, and brake smoothly and gradually to avoid skids. Avoid braking on curved roads, if possible
- On snowy roads, try laying new tracks for increased traction
- Keep headlights on during the day so that following drivers can see vehicle tail lights
- Gear down for both uphill and downhill travel to reduce the chance of sliding
- If control of the vehicle is lost, keep braking and steer in the intended direction until control is regained
These are just some safety measures Alberta drivers can take in winter to avoid car accidents. You can find more safe winter driving tips here.
Contact Our Edmonton Personal Injury Lawyers Today for a Consultation
While preparation for winter road conditions can help mitigate the risks of a collision, an accident may still occur. If you have been injured as a result of another driver’s failure to undertake adequate safety measures, you may be eligible for compensation. Contact our Edmonton personal injury lawyers today to address your questions and concerns, and see how we may be of service to you.
* Please note that the information in this article is not intended as legal advice but rather as a general overview of personal injury law. If you are seeking legal advice, please consult with a lawyer.