Safe driving tips for snowy roads as Ottawa prepares for 15 cm of snow.

Ottawa Weather and Ottawa Accidents

Ottawa Injury Lawyers David Hollingsworth and our associates are  warning Ottawa residents- It’s happening again Ottawa ! We are expected to get close to 15 more centimeters of snow tonight which means tomorrow might be a messy drive into work, school or maybe you are just heading to Starbucks! Regardless of where you are going, the roads will likely have enough snow to slow things down and possibly cause accidents here in Ottawa and surrounding areas.  There are steps you can take to help make the roads a little safer.

-Make sure to completely clear your vehicle off. Do not leave snow on the roof that may fall down while en route.

-If you can put your vehicle in 4 wheel drive, do so if you are finding the roads slippery.

-Slow down and leave yourself lots of room to stop. The rule of thumb is at least three car lengths.

-Always apply the brakes gently to avoid skidding. If your wheels seize, ease up on the brake.

-Ensure your lights are on. This will not only give you better vision, it allows others to see you as well .

-Make sure you have plenty of windshield fluid and your windshield is clean.

-Avoid using cruise control when roads are slippery.

-Avoid passing other vehicles if possible.

If your vehicle gets stuck in the snow or ice,

-Do not apply gas and spin the wheels. This will create an even bigger whole for your wheels to sink into.

-Gently turn your wheels from side to side several  times. This will push snow away and give you a better chance at getting out.

-If it is safe to get out, use a shovel to clear snow away from the wheels and the under the car if possible.

-Try putting down something that will give your vehicle traction such as a blanket,  sand, kitty litter, paper, gravel or coarse salt.

I wish you all safe driving tomorrow.  Enjoy the snow..I promise, it won’t be much longer !


Ottawa lawyer David Hollingsworth offering safety driving tips for icy roads.

Ottawa Accident Lawyer

.I was up bright and early this morning taking our kids to hockey.  I knew it had rained last night but I had no idea when I hit Ottawa streets how slippery they were.  As I pulled into the arena parking lot, my vehicle slid sideways down a hill.  Thankfully it was 6:30 am (yawn) and the lot was empty. I was driving very slowly and paying close attention to the road conditions, yet at that very moment, there was nothing else I could have done.  I was sliding on ice . Be careful out there on Ottawa roads. It is extremely slippery out there today. The Ottawa Police Service have provided excellent safety tips to drivers who encounter freezing rain.

-Clear all ice and snow off your vehicle to avoid any ice and snow dislodging and flying onto other vehicles.

-Allow yourself distance between vehicles. Especially when the roads are icy, you need enough distance to stop. Also it allows time to react if ice and snow is flying off other vehicles.
-Be aware that other vehicles may loose snow and ice on them. Often times, transport trucks have ice and snow on the roof of their trailers.
-Always slow down when the roads are icy.
-Allow yourself more time to arrive safely to your destination.
-Ensure your vehicle is ready for winter. Ensure you have winter tires, proper windshield wipers.

Here are a few more tips I have to offer:

  1. Make sure tries have good grips: Always best to have proper winter tires installed.
  2. Make sure you can see. Make sure blades, windows and headlights are properly functioning and clean.
  3. Run the air-conditioner. This removes condensation and frost from the interior of windows.
  4. Check your lights. Ensure they are clear of snow and working.
  5. Know how to use your brakes. If you find yourself sliding on ice,use your antilock brakes: Stomp, stay and steer. Stomp on the pedal . Stay with the pedal. Steer around the obstacle.
  6. If your car is not equipped with ABS, do not panic. Push the brake pedal hard until the wheels stop rolling, then immediately release the brake enough to allow the wheels to begin turning again. Repeat this sequence rapidly.
  7. Be careful. Look for “black ice. Touch your brakes regularly enough to test for black ice.
  8. Know the tough spots.  Bridges and intersections are common places for ice to form.
  9. Too much steering is bad. In most cases, over steering will always make the situation worse. While it may be instinctive to steer away from the obstacle as hard as you can you may make things worse. If the icy conditions end and the front tires regain grip, your vehicle will go in whatever way the wheels are facing, which could be very dangerous (oncoming traffic , hydro poles or traffic).

All in all, common sense and good driving habits are what will help you the most. Sometimes, despite this accidents will happen as we cannot control everything around us. Please drive safely out there.