Defend Yourself Against Hazardous Weather Pileups
Winter is a beautiful time in British Columbia. The sparkling white snow on the hills and the soft powder on your favorite ski slopes fuel your courage to tackle the plunge of Revelstoke. What’s not to love about snow? The answer may dawn on you when you are taking that drive to Old Mount Mackenzie to do some skiing—a snowstorm.
Not only can snow decrease your visibility up to 90 percent, but once it hits the road, it can affect traction and control. Imagine that a car loses control and spins out during a whiteout. The car behind it cannot see the problem because visibility is poor. So, instead of adjusting, the second car collides with the first car. This reaction continues, involving many cars, including yours.
So what do you do when visibility is poor and conditions are slippery?
Hazardous Weather Requires Increased Driving Precautions
Environment Canada warns that blowing snow could be a hazard for drivers—whiteouts are a particular threat. Whiteouts can creep up on drivers very quickly and then dissipate within minutes. As a result, drivers are surprised and unprepared—sometimes assuming that they do not have to adjust their driving since the storm will not last long.
Being unprepared and failing to follow safety precautions during storms is what causes the hundreds of collisions and pileups each winter in British Columbia.
What You Should Do During a Whiteout
- Turn on your lights for better visibility
- Slow down to a crawl and do not stop in the middle of a street or highway
- Pay extra attention to the cars in front as well as behind you
- If possible, get off the highway, pull into a safe parking spot, and wait for the squall to pass
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