Editorial: turn on your headlights

Editorial: turn on your headlights

Ensure your taillights on so drivers behind you can see where you are

Ice, snow, slush and slippery highways – driving in winter conditions can be challenging, frustrating and, at times, extremely dangerous.

Sometimes it’s just not worth the risk to drive.

However, if our vehicles are equipped for the winter weather and we’re feeling confident, we should take some extra precautions before we hit the road.

We should always plan ahead and give ourselves extra time to reach our destination safely.

Furthermore, we should always check road and weather conditions on drivebc.ca before heading out.

Once we’re on the road, we should be sure to leave more following distance to ensure we can brake safely and avoid any collisions or motorist braking in front of us.

We need to slow down and drive for the conditions. The posted speed is the maximum speed that we can drive under ideal conditions. In winter, it is safer to drive below the posted limit.

Obviously, we don’t want to be driving while being distracted.

That means not using electronic devices – text, inserting CDs, or turning the dial to get a different radio channel.

Most of us have heard these messages before, and according to recent stats, some of us are even practising some of the safety message.

Certainly, the message about having good winter tires on our vehicles is slowly sinking in.

Most of us look after ourselves and our families when we’re on the highway and byways.

However, we don’t have control over what other motorists are doing on the roads we share.

Obviously, there are some lunatics out there – the speedsters, tailgaters and the unskilled.

We need to avoid any interaction with these drivers – so we need to slow down and move over.

One of the safety items we don’t hear a lot about is an important message that we can definitely control.

We need to make sure we can see properly – out of our windshields, side and back windows, our outside mirrors, headlights and taillights.

If necessary, we have to pull off the highway and wipe them off until they’re clean – soft rags and paper towels work well, and carry extra windshield washer.

Terry Davies of Vernon sent a letter noting people should check their taillights to ensure they are working properly. He said running lights in newer vehicles don’t necessary turn on taillights in the newer vehicles.

He’s right, but there is an obvious solution.

Turn on your headlights and your taillights should be lit, too.

About half of the motorists I’ve seen on the highways don’t ensure their taillights are working before they hit the road.

It’s not good in the fog, a whiteout or when your getting sprayed by transport trucks.

Ken Alexander

Quesnel Cariboo Observer