Senior Winter Safety Guide
Every year when the weather turns, seniors face a greater risk of everything from hypothermia to slips and falls to car accidents. This senior winter safety guide is an essential resource for anyone over 65 and caregivers for our senior population.
Part 2: Winter Driving Tips
Did you know that adults over 65 are involved in more car crashes per mile driven than those in other age groups? Snow, ice, and dark nights make operating any kind of vehicle in the winter months a scary endeavor.
“In 2017, nearly 30 per cent of collisions reported to the National Collision Database happened on wet, snowy or icy roads. One third happened in January, February, November and December” - Government of Canada
Winter road conditions can be extremely dangerous, and we recommend taking these precautions before hopping in the driver's seat:
- “Winterize” your car early by putting on winter tires, stocking up on windshield washer fluid, antifreeze and snow brushes and ice scrapers.
- Bring your cell phone anytime you drive, especially in bad weather, while also letting people know that you are heading out.
- Check highway conditions online or by calling 511 before you leave, and if conditions are poor, reschedule your plans.
- Clear all the snow and ice from your car before you head out on the road and get others to help.
- Avoid driving on icy roads and be especially careful driving on highways, bridges. Consider alternate routes, even if it means driving a longer distance, if the more direct route is less safe. Often bigger roads are cleared of snow better than smaller roads.
- Stock your car with basic emergency supplies such as:
- First aid kit
- Extra warm clothes
- Booster cables
- Windshield scraper
- Tow strap
- Rock salt or a bag of sand or cat litter (in case your wheels get stuck)
- Water and dried food or canned food (with can opener!)
- Map (if traveling in new areas)
- Keep an eye on the weather report and temperature. Transport Canada suggests that black ice is present on roads between 4 degrees Celsius and –4 degrees Celsius and can appear on roads, bridges and overpasses all day and night. They also affirm that snow and ice are more slippery at 0 degrees Celsius than at –20 or below!
Bookmark this page and pull it up on the next blustery day so you can review our dos and don’ts’ when it comes to winter driving before you hit the road.