Editorial: Winter is here, take the time to drive safe

Arrive alive by taking all precautions

We may lament or boast our lack of flakes, but even in balmy Oak Bay the cold comes.

As things got icy just prior to the official first day of winter, Oak Bay officers reminded residents to clear frost from windows completely.

An Oak Bay family was unharmed but left shaken after using a marked crosswalk on a December morning. A local resident failed to clear the frost off the windshield of the car and did not see the young family in the crosswalk and narrowly missed hitting them.

Officers attended an unusual amount of car crashes over that handful of days. While injuries were minor damage to some of the vehicles involved was significant.

Safe driving means paying attention and preparation.

True winter tires are the best bet for winter driving anywhere. They provide better stopping power and traction in cold weather and snow. Plus they’re mandatory to get over the Malahat this time of year.

Check tire pressure every few weeks.

Having good, working windshield wipers and plenty of washer fluid.

Prior to dusk, make sure your headlights and taillights are cleared of grime before heading out for a drive. Take the opportunity to wipe them clean if you stop for food or fuel.

Check the local traffic and weather report, Twitter or DriveBC.ca before heading out.

If the weather is bad – hold off.

Remember speed limits are based maximum speeds under good road conditions.

So, slow down and leave room between the car ahead of you.

Naturally, don’t imbibe in drugs or alcohol before getting behind the wheel and leave the phone (and GPS) alone.

Expect the unexpected and observe the rules of the road.

Keep these things in mind this winter and let’s all arrive alive.

A little personal preparation time can save financial costs of distracted driving, rolling through a stop sign or light and even the deductible if you roll into a ditch.

It could even save a life.

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