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Insider Insights: Articles

Winter driving in Winnipeg

By Deb Matejicka
Calgary bureau reporter
Tuesday, February 25, 2014, 2:53 PM

If anyone understands the meaning of winter, it's the folks in Winnipeg and who better to give us tips on winter driving than the boys in blue, who must make it to each and every call safely and quickly? 

The following are the top four winter driving tips from the WPS with video examples included above.

Winter Driving Tip #1: 12 Second Eye Lead

High eye lead is paying attention further down the roadway than the front of your vehicle. According to the WPS, the minimum professional driving standard for high eye lead is paying attention to something 12 seconds down the roadway ahead of you.

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The benefit of high eye lead is recognizing hazards and obstacles in the distance early enough to react to them smoothly and safely.

In the following video, Constable Ken Azaransky of the WPS provides us with an example of the benefits of high lead. He recognizes a hazard far in the distance, and as he approaches it, he is able to avoid it smoothly and effectively. 

Winter Driving Tip #2: Understeering 

Whatever the weather conditions may be, the WPS advises to drive within them. In fact, they can't stress this enough and in the winter, this advice becomes particularly important because the roads are almost always icy and slick. 

When we don't drive to the conditions, the WPS' Constable Ken Azaransky says we are likely to experience a common driving error called an understeer.

An understeer almost always occurs on an icy road when a driver reacts too late to a hazard and has to slam on the brakes and jerk the steering wheel one way or the other– that hazard might be the car in front of you that you're following too closely and suddenly stops or it could be you arriving at an intersection too quickly or travelling into a turn with too much speed – whatever that hazard may be, you are likely going to encounter a skid – or understeer – because you have jerked hard on the steering while slamming on your brakes, disrupting the vehicle dynamics and stabilization. 

The following video shows us exactly what an understeer looks like.


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