LOWER MAINLAND (NEWS 1130) – Environment Canada has cancelled a special weather statement forecasting 10 cm to 15 cm of snow for the Sea to Sky Highway between Squamish and Whistler, as well as up to 5 cm of snow for the Fraser Valley.
That being said, we could still see a few flakes fall today.
Meanwhile on Vancouver Island, there’s a wind warning in effect for the north and west regions, as well as the Sunshine Coast, with forecasted winds of 70 to 90 km/h.
First snow is the worst for road safety: BCAA
For people planning to drive in areas where snow is predicted, BCAA is warning drivers to be prepared. John Smithe, automotive specialist with BCAA, says the first snow is usually the worst one on the road, as drivers are reactionary, only getting things prepared after the first snowfall.
That can make it particularly dangerous.
“That’s when people really realize that they’re not prepared for the snow. We need our winter tires prior to the snow, and this is when people panic and get their winter tires,” he says.
Driving for conditions is also important, he says. If where you live requires snow tires and chains, make sure you have them.
“Drive for the conditions. Speed is an issue, visibility drops as fog comes in or as heavy rains come in,” he says. “You need to see where you’re going. Don’t over drive your lights.”
He asks people to be honest with themselves, and that people only drive if they feel comfortable doing so.
“Evaluate yourself honestly, and if you think you can, be prepared, make the preparations, but if you don’t think you can, stay home and put it off,” he says. “It will be there tomorrow for you.”
Having winter tires or chains – depending on requirements where you live – are one part of the picture, he says, but there is more to preparing your vehicle for the weather. Preparing your trunk is also important.
Having sand, a shovel, and cones can make all the difference if you run into car trouble. Preparing for the drive itself by wearing warm clothes in case you get stuck in traffic or your engine stops and you can’t keep warm are also important. He also recommends having some snacks and windshield washer fluid on hand.
“And of course, giving yourself extra time to get there. We don’t want to create a panic situation because traffic slows down and all the sudden you feel late and pressure to be where you need to be,” he says. “Most importantly, we want people to be safe. If you’re nervous about driving and don’t need to drive, put it off until the weather conditions change.”
– With files from Monika Gul