Are you prepared for Winter Driving if you are stuck or stranded on the Highway? OPP has Safety Tips for You!

Jan 5, 2018 @ 17:38


Members of the Sault Ste. Marie Detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) would like to remind members of the public that being prepared for winter driving can save your life. With the inclement cold weather in the area this weekend, OPP reminds drivers to be aware what to do should you become stuck or stranded on the roadway.

  • Don’t panic
  • Avoid over-exertion and over-exposure to the cold. Cold weather can put extra stress on the heart and contribute to the hazards of over-exertion. Sweaty clothes next to the skin are not good insulators against the cold and can increase how cold you feel. Change into dry clothes where possible.
  • Stay in the car if you cannot shovel your car out of the snow.
  • Stay in the car in blizzard conditions – Do not leave the car for assistance unless help is very close and it is safe to walk. It is easy to get disoriented in a blizzard.
  • Turn on flashing lights or set up flares. A brightly coloured cloth on the radio antenna may make your vehicle more visible in daylight.
  • Run the car engine occasionally (about 10 minutes every hour) to provide heat (and to conserve fuel). Ensure that the tail exhaust pipe is free of snow and keep the window opened slightly (on the side shielded from the wind) to prevent the build-up of carbon monoxide when the engine is running.
  • Bundle up in a blanket. If there is more than one person in the car, share – two people sharing blankets will be warmer than either person alone in a blanket.
  • Wear a hat and scarf – the head and neck are major sources of heat loss from the body.
  • Monitor for any signs of frostbite and hypothermia.
  • Do not fall asleep. If there is more than one person in the car, take turns sleeping.
  • Do not stay in one position too long. Do some exercises to help the circulation – move arms and legs, clap your hands, etc.
  • Watch for traffic or emergency vehicles.

A well-stocked winter driving kit helps to handle any emergency. It should include:

  • Properly fitting tire chains.
  • Bag of sand or salt (or kitty litter).
  • Tow Rope.
  • Traction mats.
  • Snow shovel.
  • Snowbrush.
  • Ice scraper.
  • Booster cables.
  • Warning devices such as flares or emergency lights.
  • Fuel line de-icer (methanol, also called methyl alcohol or methyl hydrate).
  • Extra windshield wiper fluid appropriate for sub-freezing temperatures.
  • Roll of paper towels.
  • Flashlight and a portable flashing light (and extra batteries).
  • Blanket.
  • Extra clothing, including hat and wind-proof pants, and warm footwear.
  • First aid kit.
  • Snack bars or other “emergency” food and water.
  • Matches and emergency candles – only use with a window opened to prevent build-up of carbon monoxide.
  • Road maps.
  • “Call Police” or other help signs or brightly coloured banners.

Winter Driving. Be Prepared, Be Safe!