EDITORIAL: Winter driving requires preparation

Monday’s 15-hour road closure highlighted need for drivers to be ready for anything

Monday’s tragic fatal crash near American Creek had travellers waiting to get moving again for what seems like an unprecedented time — about 15 hours.

The severity of the crash, coupled with the potential for a fuel spill, called for care and diligence at the scene by first responders and clean up crews. It’s unusual to be waiting in traffic that long, sitting in a car or a bus unsure of when you’ll get to your destination. Road conditions aside, it’s a serious reminder that being prepared is a must.

Having enough blankets to stay warm, water to stay hydrated, phone chargers and medications are all musts for waiting it out on a snowy, slushy or rainy highway. Keeping your car filled with a full tank of gas is another must for winter driving. It doesn’t take long for a car to get to outside temperatures once the heater is off. Take the time to check fluids, pack a lunch, and let people know where you’re heading.

Thankfully, Monday’s crash happened in the Fraser Canyon where residents were happy to open their doors for travellers. Some even billeted students who were unable to get home.

READ MORE: Highway 1 now reopened in both directions following fatality

When one highway is closed, getting around to another route can be lengthy and even dangerous. On Monday, while Highway 1 remained closed, the Coquihalla had a winter travel advisory with several reports of flipped cars. Highway 3 also had closures through the day. Most of what you need to know about highway traveling — in general and in real time — is available on DriveBC’s website, mobile website and Twitter account.

There are many more travel days ahead this season that will include snow, ice, sleet and closures.

Be prepared for a wait. Be aware of the road conditions ahead. Be ready for anything. And drive safely.

-Hope Standard

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

5 to 10 cm of snow still coming to Fraser Valley: Environment Canada

Hard to say when the freezing rain will turn to regular rainfall, Environment Canada says

EDITORIAL: Honouring Kent’s history

Former editor Grace Kennedy reflects on the special edition for the 125th anniversary

Mount Woodside bike trail planning underway

With this week’s Council approval, planning can begin

FVRD WildSafe wraps up season

Black bears biggest source of calls in district

PHOTOS: Sts’Ailes students scale glaciers as part of mountain skills and wilderness program

‘It’s not just about taking kids hiking, it’s actually about connecting them to the land’

After cashing in on QB gambles, Chiefs and 49ers to clash in Super Bowl

KC beats Tennessee, San Francisco dispatches Green Bay to reach NFL title game

VIDEO: SPCA and RCMP remove several animals, including pig, at private animal rescue in Langley

Home at 5500 block of 216th Street has undergone multiple seizures over the past five years

B.C. VIEWS: Few clouds on Horgan’s horizon

Horgan’s biggest challenge in the remainder of his term will be to keep the economy humming along

Victoria family focuses on ‘letting go, enjoying time together’ after dad gets dementia

Walter Strauss has developed an interest in music and now takes line dancing classes

B.C. forest industry grasps for hope amid seven-month strike, shutdowns, changes

Some experts say this could be worse for forestry than the 2008 financial crisis

Northern B.C. RCMP investigating alleged sexual assault in downtown Smithers

One person was transported by ambulance to hospital following RCMP investigation at Sedaz

Vancouver police probe second homicide in less than 24 hours

Woman was found dead in her Gastown home

UBC, Iranian-Canadian community create memorial scholarship in honour of victims

The Jan. 8 crash killed 176 people, including 57 Canadians

Most Read