Winter conditions results in numerous traffic incidents

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Airdrie RCMP and the Airdrie Fire Department have been busy responding to “numerous” calls regarding traffic incidents, as a result of the heavy snowfall experienced recently throughout southern Alberta.

According to Deputy Chief Garth Rabel with the Airdrie Fire Department, many more minor collisions have likely gone unreported.

“Road conditions have not been friendly, and we have been busy with motor vehicle collisions not only in the city, but in the surrounding area, as well,” Rabel said. “I can’t say specifically how many accidents we’ve responded to, but it’s safe to say that it’s numerous – both on highways and on residential streets.”

With the heavy snow came fog and low-hanging clouds, Rabel said, which can obstruct visibility and lead to an increase in traffic incidents. He recommended drivers take care to ensure other drivers can see them by using their fog lights and even their hazards when necessary.

“Now that there’s been some melting and you get that cold air blowing in from across those open fields and polishing up the highway, it’s still dangerous,” Rabel said.

“We think the roads are dry and warm, but of course, that’s where the black ice comes into play.”

Airdrie RCMP issued a press release Feb. 9 cautioning drivers and encouraging residents to stay off the roads if at all possible. Rabel said if people must drive in unfavourable conditions, there are a few things that can make the drive slightly safer.

“Make sure you have proper winter tires and that they are inflated properly,” he said. “Speed is also an important factor – we need people to slow down and give themselves lots of room to start and stop. And stay aware of your surroundings, drive defensively and pay attention to what everyone else is doing.”

He also encourages motorists to ensure they are prepared. Information on preparing a good emergency kit can be found on the fire department’s website at airdrie.ca

“It’s important to always be prepared – if something were to occur where help was still a ways away, you should always have supplies on-board,” he said. “Include things like a blanket, extra gloves, toques, a bottle of water, hand warmers, and maybe snack bars to eat in case you’re stuck for a bit.”

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