OPP reminds motorists to keep our roads safe as winter sets in

With the winter season well under way, the Manitoulin Detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) would like to remind all motorists to be prepared for the seasonal harsher winter weather.

Preparing yourself and your vehicle for the winter weather ahead can go a long way in reducing collisions—something the OPP sees far too many of every winter.

“Winter driving requires constant driver attention to road surface conditions and visibility. We would like to remind all drivers to adjust their driving habits, in particular speed, to account for these conditions. We also remind you to wear your seatbelts, and ensure that passengers and children are properly belted as well. The following few simple tips will ensure that we can all enjoy a safe and happy upcoming holiday season,” Staff Sergeant Kevin Webb, Detachment Commander with the Manitoulin OPP, advises.

The OPP offers tips for getting your vehicle winter ready:

• Install four winter-rated tires.
• Have an ice scraper or snow brush in your vehicle to keep your windows, signals and lights clear.
• Top up your windshield washer reservoir and keep an extra one handy.
• Keep your fuel tank at least 1/2 full so you don’t run out of gas should you become stranded.
• Keep a fully stocked emergency kit in your vehicle.
• Have your vehicle serviced to avoid preventable breakdowns.
• Adjust your driving habits: Drivers must slow down—speeding too fast for road conditions is the No. 1 cause of winter collisions.
• Drive according to the road and weather conditions.
• Leave extra spaces between vehicles—stopping distances are at least doubled on snowy roads and even longer in icy conditions.
• Know where you are: If you require help in an emergency it will delay the arrival of emergency responders if you don’t know your location when asked.
• Monitor road and weather conditions—Plan your trip and check local weather conditions before heading out.

Check the Ministry of Transportation website, Ontario.ca/511, prior to heading out on any trip or dial 5-1-1 during the winter. Please do not call 9-1-1 or the OPP for road reports, the OPP advises.