What to know before driving in wintery weather
The CAA recommends keeping an emergency kit in your vehicle at all times
As Toronto neighbourhoods continue to clean up from the recent ice storm a new weather system is expected to hit late Sunday creating potential risks for motorists heading into the work week.
Forecasters are calling for a combination of high winds, snow and even freezing rain across Southern Ontario.
"You can expect to see really mixed precipitation," said CBC meteorologist Janine Baijnath. "Snow in some areas, freezing rain and even rainfall for areas of Southern Ontario come Sunday evening into Monday."
Toronto was hit with a deep freeze this week that sent temperatures plunging to the -20s C with the windchill, and CAA spokeswoman Silvana Aceto has some tips for motorists to stay prepared no matter what the conditions.
Plan ahead, be prepared
It's best to check your local forecast before you head out on the roads and give yourself extra travel time.
"Once you're on the roads make sure you slow down and really drive according to the road conditions," Aceto said.
That includes giving yourself extra space between other vehicles for breaking distance.
Aceto also said it's important to clear any snow and ice off your vehicle before exiting the driveway.
"Once you start driving the wind can blow the snow off your vehicle," she said. "It can end up on your rear windshield, as well as on the windshield of a driver behind you which can cause poor visibility and can be a real safety hazard."
Keep an emergency kit
Among the list of items you should keep in your car at all times:
- snow brush, ice scraper and small shovel
- extra clothing, footwear and blankets
- extra windshield washer fluid, booster cables and a first aid kit
- bottled water, snacks and a fully charged cellphone
The Canadian Automobile Club of South-Central Ontario said as of late Saturday afternoon they had already received 4,700 calls for service.
Aceto said it's important to stay patient if you do end up on the side of a road, or in a parking lot, waiting for assistance.
"We do service high priority calls first," she said. "Those are the members who are stuck on the side of the road in the cold as opposed to someone who may be in the comfort and safety of their home perhaps with vehicle with a dead battery in the driveway."