As Canada braces for its first significant winter storm, various regions are under winter storm watches and warnings. The conditions, which include extreme cold, heavy snow, and a rain-snow mix, can catch commuters off guard. According to Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) Sgt. Kerry Schmidt, the first storm of the season often leads to preventable collisions due to drivers’ unfamiliarity with changing road conditions.
Meteorologist Peter Quinlan predicts a widespread “winter bite” across Canada, with extreme cold warnings in northern Saskatchewan and snowfall expected in Ottawa, Montreal, Quebec City, and the Maritimes. Commuters are urged to adjust their habits for winter safety. The OPP’s highway safety division recommends respecting speed limits, leaving ample room between vehicles, and using headlights at all times. Vulnerable road users, such as pedestrians and cyclists, should wear visible clothing and exercise caution.
In the event of a collision, individuals are advised to stay calm, move off live lanes, and call 911 if necessary. Emergency kits with essentials like extra clothing, batteries, water, snacks, and first aid supplies are recommended. Commuters are reminded to plan for extra travel time, avoid rushing, and pay full attention to the road, especially during severe weather conditions. Stay safe and prepared for winter commuting!