September 28, 2020

By ALYSHA MILLER

The winter wonderland Canada is known for hit us Jan. 27, and a four-car pileup near St. Jacobs is a reminder that along with the snow comes a whole new set of driving conditions.

With many students being relatively new to driving — some braving their first winter on the roads — it’s important to know exactly what “prepared” means when it comes to winter driving. Thankfully, the Canadian Automobile Association (CAA) provides a guide to help people out.

Their website, www.caasco.com/automotive/auto-maintenance/winter-driving-guide-tips.jsp, provides lists of information including winter driving tips, common sense, items to keep in a vehicle, things drivers can do to increase safety before leaving for their drive and more.

The most important aspect to driving safely during winter is common sense, which though often obvious, is also often overlooked. Things such as waking up earlier, not only to have extra time to get from point A to point B, but to scrape the snow and ice from car windows before leaving, are important.

It’s also important to keep extra windshield washer fluid and basic winter survival necessities in the vehicle. Anything from a dirty to a broken windshield could strike at a moment’s notice, and it’s best to not be caught in the cold with not even a blanket. (Being a commuting college student, the blanket or sleeping bag can come in handy at parties as well.)

Another thing to mention is the beauty of a membership with CAA. Receiving a little card instead of an Xbox for Christmas might disappoint some, but that little CAA card is reason to celebrate in my family. My sister has had to call them three times in a single day to retrieve her car keys after locking them inside her vehicle.

We all must remember that the term “winter wonderland” is used to describe the season because the outdoors becomes a whole new world, complete with its set of dangers. With such a high number of commuters coming to Conestoga every day, students need to remember this in order to get not only themselves, but everybody else, to class safely.