A Dangerous Season


Felix Moisan

Quebec’s drivers’ stress is aggravated by the approach of the cold season and its high accident rate.

The winter season is known for being the season containing the most accidents. Last year, the Ministry of Transportation listed more than 625 accidents where people were severely hurt and 150 fatal. This actively concerns local authorities as they are trying to find solutions to make the roads safer for everyone.

The Government is already implementing new laws to ensure everyone stays safe even while driving in the winter. For example, some drivers have learned that if you fail to clear the snow off your car correctly, you may get a fine from 100$ to 200$.

Research from the SAAQ proved that more than 30% more accidents occur in winter than in any other season. The lack of vision during snow storms is the leading cause of accidents during this season, and the icy roads that make cars slip and crash into each other are also a cause of incidents. The fact that winter’s accident rate is so high concerns the population of Quebec. “Driving is already challenging for most, and winter does not help. A little too much ice on the roads and you end up crashing into another car is a terrifying fact,” said Mr. Dupuis, a Quebec resident.

Another statistic shows that the intensity of the winter also impacts the number of accidents. The 2009-2010 and the 2011-2012 winters, which were not as cold as usual, reduced 15% of the total casualties. This is due to the low quantity of ice and snow on the roads these years.

Most of the solutions the Government proposed has to come from you. Here are the few tips they offered to Quebec’s drivers :

Speed on the road in winter

The Ministry of Transportation repeats: speed is the main cause of accidents during winter. You must reduce your speed and keep a greater braking distance to have room to maneuver. These simple actions can significantly impact the percentage of accidents that occur in the winter.

Snow removal from the car
As previously said, if you don’t clear your vehicle of snow, you risk a fine ranging from $100 to $200. Failure to adequately clear snow from your car, including your headlights and license plate, can put you and other motorists at risk because your visibility on the road may be reduced, and snow or ice debris could come off your car and hit other motorists or reduce their visibility. It can even cause death in extreme cases. Mr. Gagnon reported,” One of my close friends has been the victim of one of these accidents. A block of ice the size of a football went off a lory through his windshield and ended its course in his face. Even after the 19 surgeries, his face still bares the consequence of this accident.”

Tire Safety
Tires are an essential part of improving winter driving. Winter tires provide a better grip on the road. In addition, this element is regulated by law. Investing in good quality tires and not only relying on the price for the purchase is recommended.