Whether you’re driving for our Western, Eastern or Line Haul divisions, you’re sure to encounter some risky and dangerous road conditions in the winter from time to time. Especially if you’re driving longer routes, you might even witness drastic differences from region to the next!
So what do you have to watch out for? Let’s start with the basics:
Blizzards are the most dangerous of winter storms and are a combination of snow, high winds and low temperatures.
Issue: Falling, Blowing or Drifting Snow can significantly reduce road visibility
How much snow is considered a heavy snowfall? Environment Canada defines heavy snowfall as 15 – 20 cm within 24 hours (accumulation may be lower in temperate climates)
Issue: Reduced visibility
Freezing Rain or Drizzle
These can lead to ice storms resulting in icy and slippery roads and reduced visibility.
Issue: Ice covered roads, trees, power lines etc.
A cold snap refers to rapidly falling temperature over a short period of time resulting in extreme cold.
Issue: Icy road conditions
Winds often create blizzards by causing blowing and drifting snow.
Issue: Reduced visibility and chance of wind chill
Just as the name suggests, black ice refers to the thin layer of ice on a road that is often hard to see and can make the road look black and shiny. Remember that the roads tend to freeze more quickly in shaded areas, on bridges and on overpasses and can remain long after the sun comes up!
Issue: Extremely slippery roads
Slush is what we call wet snow. Normally, melting snow is a good thing (means that temperatures are rising!) but slush can make it difficult for you to steer when it builds up in the well wheels.
Issue: Affects your steering
Remember, safety first on the road! Remember your training and trust your judgement. Stop and take a break from driving if you think the roads are unsafe.
Do you have any winter driving stories to share?