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ICBC says drivers need to shift into winter mode

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With another round of stormy weather in the forecast, ICBC has launched its annual campaign to remind drivers to adjust their habits.

The insurance company’s Caroline Robinson says it’s important to get into the right mindset, and be ready for driving in more difficult conditions like rain, snow, and poor light.

And it’s just as important to check over your car, and make sure it’s ready… with good tread depth on the tires, windshield wipers and lights working properly and all the fluids topped up.

ICBC is offering these tips.

  1. Consider using your headlights whenever weather is poor and visibility is reduced – not only at night – to help you see ahead and be seen by other drivers.

  2. Heavy rain can seriously reduce visibility and make road surfaces more difficult to stop on. Make sure your wipers are in good condition and increase your following distance to at least four seconds.

  3. When fog hits, turn your headlights on or use fog lights if it’s very foggy. Use your defroster to keep your windows clear and, if needed, partly roll down a window for more visibility. Use the right edge of the road or road markings as a guide.

  4. When temperatures near freezing, be aware of black ice. While it’s virtually impossible to see ahead of time, if you notice ice build-up on your windshield, there’s likely black ice on the road. Slow down and increase your following distance so you can see how vehicles around you are moving on the road. Black ice is commonly found at shaded areas, bridges, overpasses and intersections.

  5. The key to driving in snow and ice is to accelerate and brake slowly and avoid unexpected sudden movements that could cause you to skid.

  6. In poor conditions, use extreme caution when approaching highway maintenance vehicles on the road and never pass on the right. Be patient and maintain a safe following distance – these vehicles throw up snow and spray which can make it difficult to see.

Winter tires, and chains for trucks, are now required on certain BC highways, including the Malahat and Highway 4 on the Island.

Robinson, meanwhile, says ICBC is working with police on road checks throughout the region.

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