Ontario’s first major snowfall this week: what drivers need to know

Ease your stress with these must-know winter driving tips

Winter driving

by Chloe Bernabei 

As much as many Ontarians are dreading it, winter in the province is quickly approaching, and CAA recommends that drivers get their vehicles ready now before the wintry weather hits. Environment Canada issued a snow squall warning and watch for most parts of the province today, so it may be coming sooner than we think.

Making sure your vehicle is equipped with winter tires is essential to drive safely in winter conditions. According to GuardTree, winter tires should be put on before the temperatures drop below 7 degrees Celsius. All-season tires can be useful, however are not recommended for harsh winter conditions. 

CAA says that ensuring your vehicle has functional brakes, headlights, tire pressure and windshield wipers is crucial for the cold, icy and snowy conditions the winter brings. Getting your vehicle’s battery checked is also recommended. 

In regards to driving itself, here are some basic winter driving tips Victoria Marchisello from CAA has for drivers:

Leave plenty of space between you and the vehicle ahead. Stopping distances increase on ice and snow.

Stay on main roads. Back roads may not always be well ploughed during winter storm events.

Avoid using overdrive or cruise control. You want as much focus and control of your vehicle as possible.

Slow down and move over for emergency vehicles. This includes tow trucks and service vehicles.

Never pass a snowplow. This could result in a severe, even fatal collision. Stay well back when you see the blue flashing lights of a snowplow. Drivers should know that new amendments to the Highway Traffic Act makes it illegal to pass snowplows working side by side on Ontario highways and can face a fine ranging from $150 to $1,000.    

Practice emergency braking to understand how your vehicle will react.

Below you can find a list of winter must-haves:

Are your ready for this?

By: Craig Donaldson

Southern Ontario is getting its first major taste of winter weather this week.

A system bringing large amounts of snowfall is expected to impact thousands of Ontarians. It all starts Monday evening and could last until early Wednesday.

North of the GTA is where all the action is expected to happen, with snow squall warnings in effect, and major snowfall accumulation expected in many areas.

Toronto and the GTA could see brief periods of snowfall but accumulation is expected to be under 2cm.

Canadian shovelling snow

Environment Canada issued a winter weather advisory for affected areas:
Barrie - Collingwood - Hillsdale; Owen Sound - Blue Mountains - Northern Grey County; Saugeen Shores - Kincardine - Southern Bruce County; Hanover - Dundalk - Southern Grey County; Shelburne - Mansfield - Northern Dufferin County

"The first significant lake effect snow squalls of the season are forecast beginning late Monday. These snow squalls will continue through Monday night before weakening late Tuesday," Environment Canada states in the advisory. "Strong westerly winds followed by northwesterly winds will accompany these snow squalls resulting in significantly reduced visibility at times in heavy snow and blowing snow."

Snowfall accumulations in these areas vary depending on the impact of lake effect systems and winds, but 20 to 35 centimeters are possible in the areas hardest hit.

Credit: Weather Network

With Orangeville to Newmarket possibly seeing 5 to 10cm of snow, and areas farther north like Collingwood and Wasaga seeing possibly 20 to 30cm.
Drivers are being advised to monitor conditions and leave extra time for slower travel. Roads in these areas are expected to be impacted by blowing snow and whiteouts.

Commuters Tuesday morning taking Highway 401 and 400 north are expected to experience heavy snowfall, strong winds, and decreased visibility due to blowing snow.

Winter Driving Fails

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