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Winter Road Safety

November 26th, 2020

Whether you're driving on the job or on your way home, winter driving in Alberta is always unpredictable.

We want Albertans to be safe on the roads this season and to remind them that driving in winter weather creates a challenge for both vehicles and drivers. The combination of snow, ice, moisture and cold can add up to a dangerous situation for even the most experienced drivers.

If your company employs drivers or has a vehicle fleet, avoiding winter road conditions is simply not feasible­–and more importantly–it’s possible that people rely on your ongoing service and winter driving as a reality of the job. Even so, there are important factors to remember and look out for to keep everyone safe during this season.

Every Canadian knows you should prepare your vehicle, no matter the class, before snow starts falling but it’s never too late to get to it if you haven’t. That includes:

  • Changing tires and checking pressure
  • Inspecting wipers and topping fluids
  • Testing and replacing batteries
  • Checking vehicle lights are running properly
  • Ensuring fleet vehicles are equipped with winter survival packs

It also includes making sure drivers are prepared by checking weather forecasts ahead of time, planning routes so not to rely on GPS, providing extra time, and ensuring they have proper communication channels. These steps help keep surprises to a minimum and can allow the driver to focus on the road in front of them.

No matter the season, always notify your local utility company in advance of transporting oversize loads, as they will need to prepare a safe route. Take weather conditions and heavy traffic into consideration when planning. If there ever is an emergency, whether the vehicle has stalled or worse, you have made contact with a power line or transformer, stay in your vehicle and warn others to stay back at least 10 metres. If your vehicle is still running and it’s safe to do so, carefully move it out of contact with the power equipment and at least 10 metres away, then park/shut down. Then call emergency services and your local utility company for assistance.

This winter remember that snow and ice-covered roadways are a way of Canadian life, and we must remain aware of the danger that these conditions create on our roads. Always plan ahead, be prepared, and stay safe this season.

Want to brush up on the do’s and don’ts of power line safety? Check out our online safety tutorials and complete the quizzes to earn limited edition swag for you and your crew!

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See the overhead and underground contacts occurring near you.

The Joint Utility Safety Team (JUST) is a partnership between the following Alberta electric utilities with contributions from local municipalities, formed to address the frequency of power line contacts across the province.