Toronto

How you can stay safe on Toronto's roads this winter

As Toronto prepares for a major snowfall that is expected to bring 10 to 15 centimetres of snow to the Greater Toronto area, police are asking motorists to ensure they’re ready for the winter weather and do their part to stay safe on the wet and slippery roads.

Police share tips on driving in the snow and slush

Snow was already making the roads slick on Sunday afternoon in Toronto's east end. (Tyna Poulin/CBC)

As Toronto prepares for a major snowfall that is expected to bring 10 to 15 centimetres of snow to the Greater Toronto area, police are asking motorists to ensure they're ready for the winter weather and do their part to stay safe on the wet and slippery roads.

"The road conditions are constantly changing, so it's important to be able to adapt and adjust to those conditions to ensure you're safe and to avoid possible collisions," Const. Allyson Douglas-Cook told CBC News.

Drivers will face those changing conditions on Monday as severe weather meteorologist for Environment Canada Arnold Ashton warns driving conditions will become "a little nasty" tomorrow.

"Driving on the roads is going to be a bit challenging across the city, as it often is with snow in Toronto. We're just not used to it," Ashton said. "The roads will be wet and sloppy and slushy. It will not be a pleasant [morning] commute, I don't think."

For tomorrow's morning rush hour, Sgt. Kerry Schmidt of the Ontario Provincial Police's highway safety division says to give yourself the extra time you need for your commute and avoid taking chances with aggressive road behaviour.

"Be alert and be aware that it might take you longer, so take whatever precautions and initiatives you have to account for that," Schmidt said. "If you are running late, accept the fact that you might be and make changes appropriately."

The OPP's Sgt. Kerry Schmidt says to give yourself the extra time you need for your commute and avoid taking chances with aggressive road behaviour. (ICI Radio-Canada)

He recommends using your phone or vehicle's navigation system to get an estimated time of arrival, which may show if you're able to make it to where you're going on time. 

For this type of weather, police also say drivers should plan ahead and ensure they are road-ready, by doing a full inspection of their vehicle, including checking tires, windshield wipers and washer-fluid levels.

They also recommend packing an emergency kit in your car, which should include essentials like an ice scraper, snow brush, shovel, extra clothes, first-aid kit, phone, windshield washer fluid, flashlight, batteries, booster cables, blankets, snacks and phone chargers.

Police recommend packing an emergency kit in your car and changing the way you drive to take on the winter weather. (ICI Radio-Canada)

However, with the unpredictable weather conditions, applying common-sense changes to the way you drive is still crucial to getting yourself home safely.

Ashton had some advice for drivers: "Just slow down and drive to the conditions because the roads will start to get a little bit slick."

And Const. Douglas-Cook also said drivers should take more the time on the road and to keep their eyes on their rear-view mirrors while doing so.

"When driving we advise you to be a little bit more alert and adjust your driving to the road and weather conditions," she said.

"We never know exactly what's in store for us with the weather. Anything can happen, so it's always best to be prepared."

With files from Muriel Draaisma

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