winter trafficIn light of the most recent extended closure of the 402 Highway several weeks ago, the OPP reminds all motorists on the importance of checking weather patterns before you go. Predictable is preventable.

The storm of 2010 saw 237 motorists stranded on Highway 402 for extended periods of time. Fortunately there was no loss of life attributed to the incident. There was however a tangible important realization of having a personal safety survival kit while driving available at all times.

Winter in Ontario can be quite fierce at times even in southern Ontario. Lake effect snow off Lake Huron often causes blinding whiteout conditions caused by heavy snow fall and blowing winds. It is exactly these types of conditions that caught many drivers off guard in 2010 resulting in a significant rescue mission.

OPP encourage all motorists to ensure they have an emergency travel kit in their vehicle to be used in such situations. A kit should include a warm blanket, additional winter clothing, boots, non-perishable snacks, bottled water, water proof matches and a candle and a metal container to place the candle in while in use. Motorists are always encouraged to carry a fully charged cell phone to be used in emergencies, and to always keep the fuel tank of the vehicle above half full.

"Nothing can be more overwhelming than being stranded in a winter storm. Feelings of fear and anxiety are quite normal. The best way to survive being stranded is - to be prepared. Being safe, warm, nourished and able to communicate with rescuers will help to mitigate negative feelings and reduce anxiety while waiting for help to arrive." - OPP Sgt. Dave Rektor.

The OPP encourages all motorists to always "know before you go" when traveling during winter months and to never call 911 for road or weather conditions.

source: media release, Ontario Provincial Police


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