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Be prepared for ice, snow, and treacherous driving on mountain roads in the early-winter.

How to Drive on Mountains Roads Where Winter Comes Early


Closed Caption


Hi there smart drivers.

Rick with Smart Drive Test talking to you today about driving in the fall and driving in the mountains, which can present you with very different challenges in a very short space of time.

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If you begin to lose control of your vehicle in slippery conditions, release the brake and the throttle and steer in the direction you want the vehicle to go.

Trip Through the Mountains

So yesterday I drove from Vernon, British Columbia to Tsawwassen, British Columbia which is about a five hour drive through the mountains.

And at Tsawwassen you get on the ferry there and then come across to Victoria ,British Columbia, as you can see here on the map.

For those of you that may or may not know Victoria, British Columbia is the capital of our province.

And it is on Vancouver Island here in the province of British Columbia, which is the Gulf Islands and the Salish Sea.

Just a little bit of geography for you there.

And it is the 7th of October...

I believe..2017 and as of the 1st of October here in British Columbia you had to have snow tires on your vehicle.

Now it's not snow tires per se.

You have to have either M + S tires which is mud and snow, and that has to be on the sidewall of the tire.

At high elevations you may encounter fog.<p>Drive with your headlights on to be seen, and at a speed that will allow you to make an emergency stop.

Or you have to have the snowflake symbol on the tires on your vehicle to drive on mountain roads and other highways here in the province.

So I left yesterday morning early--about six o'clock--out of Vernon, BC, Canada.

It's about an hour's drive up to Kamloops, BC, Canada, and then it's another hour across to Merritt, BC, Canada and there's a couple of high mountain passes as you're driving west from Kamloops to Merritt.

And there was ice on the top of the mountain.

Now some would say it's black ice.

I don't subscribe to the term black ice.

It's just ice.

It's cold at the top of the mountains - it's near freezing and overnight you're going to get ice on the roads.

Most Trecherous When Temperature is Near Freezing

And it's frost and it's probably more dangerous because it's just a thin layer and it doesn't take very much pressure from the vehicles to turn the top of that ice into water, which is going to lubricate the ice and make it more slippery.

Keep your windshield washer fluid topped up in the winter for visibility.And unfortunately as you can see here in the footage there were a couple of rollovers as I was driving.

Now a couple of tips for dealing with ice in the fall when you're not expecting it, but you should be expecting it when the temperature is around freezing.

Where to Find Ice

Know that there is going to be ice and the ice is going to form at high elevations.

• It's going to form in low-lying areas;

• it's going to form on the roadway where the roadway lies in shadow;

• and as well it's going to form when the roadway goes near bodies of water.

• As well, on bridges and overpasses.

And I'll put a video up here for you in the corner for the complete video on black ice and the fact that it's just ice.

So take note of the temperature in the winter time and particularly in the fall, and know that there's probably going to be ice on the roads when the temperature is around freezing.

A Multitude of Weather

As well, driving through the mountains we hit some rain heavy rain, light rain, up and down through the mountains making the road slippery and as well sunshine and blue skies as you can see this different type of weather that I hit in a five-hour period in the mountains.

Now one other thing for long trips...this is Canadian Thanksgiving here in our great country.

And the United States--our friends to the south there-- are going to have their Thanksgiving coming up soon in November.

In the winter, have your sunglasses in the vehicle to guard against glare and reflection of the bright sun off snow.

Planning Your Long Trips

One of the things that I suggest to you is to go to the library if you've got these long trips, and especially if you're taking the family.

Go to the library and get audio books.

Those will help you on your long trips.

And you know, uses your imagination, gives you something to listen to.

And for the kids, you can get books that have audio CDs that come with them.

I'm sure they also have these for podcasts and those types of things that you can use your phone and whatnot if you have a newer car than I do.

But the CDs, the kids can look along in the books and you can put the CD in the CD player and those are really great as well for long trips.

So know that, that in the winter time be prepared.

Have all your driving skills for all the seasons together, because as I said you're gonna go from blue skies to rain to ice and snow on the top of the mountains.

Question for my smart drivers:

Are you planning on any long trips between now and Christmas...during the holidays? And are you driving in mountain areas?

Leave a comment down in the comment section there.

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I'm Rick with Smart Drive Test.

Thanks very much for watching.

Good luck in your road test.

And remember pick the best answer not necessarily the right answer.

Have a great day.

Bye now. 

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