The Coquihalla (BC Highway 5 from Hope to Merritt) is the province’s busiest highway and has a reputation of making travel plans to the Okanagan anything but pleasant. This year, ensure that you plan ahead. Here are a few safety tips to assist you with your travels.
Here are five tips for keeping safe this season:
Ensure that your vehicle is equipped with proper snow tires. Winter tires are defined as those labelled with either the mountain snowflake symbol or the mud and snow (M+S) symbol. The symbol is located on the sidewall of the tire. Winter tires must be in good condition with a minimum tread depth of 3.5 millimeters.
Remember to keep a safe distance behind other vehicles, clear snow from your vehicle before you depart. Additionally, prepare an emergency kit to keep in your vehicle stocked with flashlights, salt or sand, a folding shovel, extra food and water, plus winter gloves and hats.
Check the Weather:
Winter weather can change drastically in minutes, so always check up on the weather conditions before you leave home. Prepare for any storms and only venture out if absolutely necessary.
Bring your cellphone & Charger:
Ensure that your cell phone is charged and have it with you while travelling. It may be your only lifeline in an emergency situation.
Have proper winter boots for warmth and traction. Layer appropriately to stay warm, and use hats, scarves and gloves to cover your extremities and prevent risk of frostbite. Keep a blanket in the car with you, as you never know when an emergency situation may occur.