Toronto police say roads in the Greater Toronto Area are in "pretty good shape" after Wednesday's storm, which dropped about up to 23 cm in some areas of the city and made for difficult drives in both the morning and evening commutes.
Const. Clint Sitbbe appeared on CBC radio's Metro Morning on Thursday and said police responded to 232 cars for collisions on Wednesday that caused either injuries or property damage.
"Every one of those was preventable, unfortunately driver error always attributes to the collisions," he said. "Everyone says it's an accident. But an accident is something that you can't prevent."
His point is that many commuters don't adjust their driving for the conditions.
"Yesterday had to be one of the worst days we've seen so far this year," he said.
Stibbe offered the following tips as drivers head back out on the roads this morning:
Don't follow too close: "When there's snow on the ground, a following distance of three to five seconds is not enough. Double it, or in some cases, even triple it. The faster you go, the longer it's going to take you to stop."
Clear snow and ice off your vehicle: "When people haven't taken snow off their vehicles, a lot of times they don't have a clear view of the outside. When they take a turn, they may hit a pedestrian."
Leave enough time for your trip: "A lot of people leave not enough time to get to their destination. As a result, they end up rushing and they get into collisions."
Keep the following in your trunk: Spare gas can. Extra food. A warm set of boots, gloves and a shovel. "I saw many incidents yesterday where people were stuck and couldn't do anything," said Stibbe. "They weren't prepared. They were stuck in their car, waiting for roads to clear or help to arrive."
Mississauga area - Slippery road conditions - drive with extreme caution.— Ontario Prov Police (@OPP_GTATraffic) February 6, 2014
City crews work all night to clear roads
The city of Toronto says that while the main streets are plowed, work continues to clear the side streets. The city hopes to have the work completed by 12 p.m. Thursday.
Peter Noehammer says salt trucks are out, but most of the major plowing is done.
"We got the main roads and expressways opened up last night, we'll be tucking away some of that snow around the side roads today, just opening up some of the turn lanes and parking areas on the main road."
Noehammer asked that residents move their cars from side streets to make way for the plows.
Many GTA residents arrived home after yesterday's gruelling drive to find driveways and sidewalks in need of shovelling.
City bylaws allow residents 12 hours to clear their sidewalks after a significant snowfall. About half of the city-maintained sidewalks are now clear, the rest should be done by noon today.
Bus stops will take longer to clear, about 40 per cent were done as of 8:30 a.m. Thursday morning.
City officials are concerned about snow banks building up at intersections and is looking to move it the snow to dumping sites in the coming days.
Please avoid parking vehicles over sidewalks. This hampers snow clearing efforts.— TO Winter Operations (@TO_WinterOps) February 6, 2014
Residential road plowing to be completed by approximately 12pm. Cleanup operations will continue today focussing parked car locations, etc.— TO Winter Operations (@TO_WinterOps) February 6, 2014
Where possible, don't park vehicles on the street. This prevents plows from pushing snow to the curb and increases cleanup costs.— TO Winter Operations (@TO_WinterOps) February 5, 2014