Traffic Services officers are encouraging drivers to be prepared for the hazards and other challenges they will face during the winter months.
At a public outreach initiative at Union Station on November 13, S/Sgt. Brett Moore said drivers need to familiarize themselves with how their vehicles react to icy and slick road conditions.
“If you have a new car, try to understand the traction and braking systems,” he said. “The saying, ‘practice makes perfect’, applies to winter driving. Make sure you are comfortable with the equipment and that you are confident to be a safe driver on the road.”
For drivers using winter tires, Moore suggested they take the time to ensure they are properly installed.
“Too often during the winter, we get reports of tires coming off,” he said. “Make sure they are put on properly by a professional. If you are doing it yourself, you must know what you are doing and get it right to avert a disaster.”
The Canadian Automobile Association (CAA) partnered with Toronto Police for the early morning outreach session at one of the largest commuter hubs in the country.
“Safe winter driving starts with proper car maintenance,” said Tony Tsai, the CAA assistant vice-president of corporate communications. “Put on winter tires and check your fluids, brakes and batteries.”
Tsai said the number of battery-related calls have gone up by 20 per cent.
“Batteries last three to five years,” he said. “Very cold and hot weather along with car entertainment systems take a toll on batteries.”
Sgt. Alex Crews, who has been with Traffic Services since 1990, said it’s imperative that drivers use the roadway according to the conditions.
“When you get up in the morning, turn to a local news channel and check the forecast,” he said. “If it is snowing, leave home early and give yourself a little bit of extra time.”
Winter Driving Tips: