Winter is Coming: Here's how to prepare before hitting the road

Stay safe and be ready for winter driving with these essential road preparation tips.

The province of Nova Scotia is reminding residents to prepare for winter driving.

“Make sure if you need to go out in a storm to give yourself ample time to get where you’re going, to slow down, that’s the big thing — give yourself space between the vehicle ahead of you and you," Public Works Minister Kim Masland told The Weather Network at an event in Hebbville, N.S., on Wednesday. "Make sure that you have winter wiper blades on. Make sure you have winter washer fluid. Make sure your antifreeze is topped up and of course, [and] snow tires are very important."

Winter driving: Baron graphic, brakes, road, speed, safety, snow

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The province maintains 23,000 kilometres of roads with operators and maintenance staff running over 400 pieces of snow removal equipment. Motorists can call 511 before heading out in Nova Scotia for an update on road conditions or even check an online plow tracker tool.

“Our winters can be harsh," Masland said. "Although, with climate change we are seeing not quite as much snow as we would have in the past, but of course we see a lot of freezing precipitation.”

Another tip from Masland is to always keep an emergency kit in your vehicle.

“An emergency kit should include items such as a blanket, matches a flashlight extra clothing or food,” said Masland.

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SEE ALSO: Ensure you and your vehicle are up to speed this winter

Keeping your gas tank at least half full is also recommended if you must head out during a storm.

But the best advice is to “stay at home unless you absolutely need to be on the roads. If you’re on our roads, please give our operators more room,” advised Guy Deveau, Nova Scotia's Maintenance and Highway Operations Executive Director.

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Header image: Getty Images/stock photo.