Changing seasons present driving and walking hazards

Chrisie Strazza

Safety matters

Christie Strazza

With winter fast approaching our days are getting shorter and we are travelling more in the dark. Last week while I was travelling to work on the highway, doing 100 kilometres an hour, a vehicle in front of me swerved abruptly into the other lane. I slowed down and continued cautiously.

I saw a dark blue car in front of me, using only its day time running lights. Daytime running lights only illuminate the front of your vehicle, leaving the back of your vehicle in darkness.

People take risks when they do not use all safety devices that are provided in a vehicle. You should always use your headlights. Just because you can see your headlights illuminated doesn’t mean you have your headlights on: you must turn the switch to “on.”

This is also the time of year when motorcyclists are trying to get in the last couple rides on beautiful days. Night comes quickly, and riding after dark becomes a very real possibility.

And on all roads, but mainly the highways, watch out for animals. Wildlife has begun moving more at dawn and dusk, and we cannot see them readily. Remember when you are driving that others use the roads and they may not be as visible as a large car or truck. Drive defensively at all times.

Along with the shorter days comes the frosty mornings and an increase in risk of slips and falls.

Appropriate footwear and clothing will help lessen the risk. If you are walking, wear a reflective device on your jacket and walk in an appropriate area such as the sidewalk or the Millennium Trail. Use caution when walking and look out for the little ones who are also back in school now and are walking. It is also everyone’s responsibility to ensure all exits/entrances are cleared of ice and snow.

If you see a potential hazard, address it. Who knows who you might save from injury – it may be you!