Road conditions change rapidly in spring

Photo credit: Miranda Richards on Flickr

Photo credit: Miranda Richards on Flickr

Spring roads can be risky for drivers – especially those who need to drive during a shift at work.

“Winter conditions can extend until the end of April in some regions. As winter transitions into spring, changes in weather and road conditions become more inconsistent. Rain, fog, colder temperatures and reduced visibility are still hazards for BC drivers,” says Mark Ordeman, Industry and Labour Services Manager, WorkSafeBC.

“Temperature changes result in melting snow run off and spring rain which can still freeze when the temperature dips down on shaded stretches of road and during the still long dark hours of the evening and early morning.”

Mark is part of the team at for people who use a “workplace on wheels” during their shift. Here are their tips for spring:

* Check whether your wiper blades have cracked in the winter cold, and if so replace them.

* Use your headlights in the daytime to see and be seen in rain and overcast conditions.

* Stay well back from trucks and buses to avoid spray from their large tires.

* Take care to pass large vehicles safely.

* Assess weather conditions before driving and, where necessary, change your driving route, allow for more travel time, or postpone travel during adverse winter weather.

* Evaluate your winter safe driving program – then plan, budget, and prepare for next winter. A good place to start – or improve – is at where you will find more tips for all seasons.

Be prepared

Know before you go – and then expect change – when you’re driving during the shoulder season.

“As the temperatures warm up to freezing, snow covered roads will melt in sunshine but as soon as the sun starts going down the surface quickly refreezes into a glazed surface guaranteed to excite even the most hardy driver,” says Earl Galavan, safety advisor for the Trucking Safety Council of BC.

“Expect road conditions to be extremely variable throughout the day during your trip. Just because we are beginning to see some nicer days does not mean the weather is going to cooperate through the entire trip. Make sure you check forecasts and conditions.”

You can check road conditions throughout BC – including webcams – at DriveBC.

Register ASAP for “Road Safety Best Practices and Resources for your Workplace” on March 26, 2014 from 1 to 4 p.m. Spaces are limited at this popular event presented by the Road Safety at Work team at the SafetyDriven classroom located at 100-20111 93A Avenue, Langley.

Employers will take away new tools, resources, and knowledge for developing road safety programs that meet their unique needs.


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