Sudden snow squalls across Ontario on New Year’s Day caused a series of motor vehicle crashes along Highway 401 in Kingston, Ontario. *Source: www.ottawasun.com (Squalls wreak havoc on Hwy. 401)
According to the Ontario Provincial Police, they started to receive many calls about crashes and collisions near Kingston, Napanee and the surrounding area on highways such as Highway 401 and Highway 2 shortly after noon on New Year’s Day. Fortunately, the drivers and passengers involved only sustained minor injuries.
Cars were pulling over to the side of the highway because of the sudden snow squalls. The largest highway crash involved more than a dozen vehicles in a chain-reaction accident in Odessa, just 14 miles outside of Kingston.
Unfortunately, the road conditions will likely continue to be treacherous this week due to freezing temperatures. Therefore, drivers in Ontario will need to be extra cautious when driving on the roads this week.
Below are some winter safety driving tips for Ontario drivers:
1. Clear all ice and snow from vehicles
Drivers need to make sure they clear all ice and snow from their vehicles, including the top of the vehicles. Drivers may only remove snow from their front/back windshields and windows and ignore the snow or ice on the top of the vehicles. This is especially dangerous for other drivers on the road because the ice and snow can dislodge from the vehicle, especially when traveling on the highways, and hit other vehicles, which may cause accidents.
2. Leave enough distance between vehicles
All drivers need to make sure that they have enough distance between their vehicle and the vehicles in front of them. This will give the drivers enough time to react if there is a crash ahead or if the cars ahead stop suddenly. Following too closely on slippery roads often leads to car accidents, including chain-reaction crashes.
3. Reduce speed and leave extra time to travel
Due to the snow and slippery road conditions, drivers should reduce their speed. With the freezing temperatures this week, there are going to be patches of ice, including black ice, on the road.
Drivers should also give themselves extra time to travel to their destinations. Drivers that rush to get somewhere by a particular time in dangerous conditions can, and often do, cause serious accidents.
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