Drivesmart: Know before you go: check out conditions

The beginning of this month was not a good one for many road users in the province with the weather-related closures

The beginning of this month was not a good one for many road users in the province with the weather-related closure of three major east-west highway routes.

Road maintenance contractors generally maintain our roads in good condition for safe driving, but when weather overwhelms their resources it should not be a surprise when road closures are the result. If you choose to travel during major weather events your mantra should be Know Before You Go or perhaps even simply Don’t Go.

Having chosen to travel after some consideration, the first responsibility for your health and safety falls to you. Proper winter clothing, food, water, sleeping bags or blankets, flashlights, candles and matches are a few personal supplies to have along. True winter tires, a shovel, tow rope, triangles, flares and some spares would be good choices to add to your vehicle.

Stopping to top up the fuel tank would have been a good choice to make too, especially if you don’t follow the precautionary habit of operating on the top half of the tank.

Regardless of your state of preparation, continued assessment of conditions is mandatory. If you anticipate problems then that is the time to either turn around and head for home or at least find the nearest motel to wait for improvement.

Being warm and dry with a full stomach beats sitting on the highway idling your fuel away wondering what will happen.

Tim Schewe is a retired constable with many years of traffic law enforcement. To comment or learn more, please visit DriveSmartBC.ca

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