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Island drivers urged to prepare for the rain, snow, and fog of winter

Vancouver Island road maintenance experts offer tips on how to deal with treacherous conditions
It’s important for drivers — new and experienced — to be prepared before heading out in winter conditions. (file photo)

Anyone who has ever driven in winter should not be surprised that the weather can change drastically in a matter of moments.

It’s important for drivers — new and experienced — to be prepared before you go out, according to the contractor that looks after the North Island highways. Install winter tires, new wiper blades, and bring an emergency kit with you. Where one end of a road may be rainy and wet, a kilometer down the street could be snowy. Drivers should be prepared to face different volumes of snow in one trip.

“On Vancouver Island, winter driving conditions may not be obvious. With many different climate zones and temperatures hovering around 0 degrees, traction issues such as black ice can present themselves despite our preventative measures. Conditions may be good in one area, but a slight elevation change, fog bank, or micro-climate can present issues rapidly,” Chris Cowley, general manager, Mainroad North-Island Contracting, says in a press release.

Slow down when approaching icy areas such as shaded areas, bridges, and overpasses, as these sections of road freeze sooner than others in cold weather. If you hit ice, focus on smoothly steering where you want to go. Don’t brake. It will make the situation worse. Just repeat this manoeuvre until you regain control.

Learn more at: Mainroad | Black Ice: What It Is and How to Handle It

Chris Reynolds, is an expert driver and CMO of Canada Drives, and is here with winter driving tips to help you stay safe on the road this winter.

In response to a high frequency of questions from the public during winter operations, Mainroad maintains an online FAQ which offers helpful resources. Visit Their Call Centre operation is available 24/7 to report changing road conditions and debris. Call toll free at 1-877-215-7122, and an operator will record and forward the information to crews on shift, dispatch additional personnel, and update Drive BC.

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About the Author: Campbell River Staff

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