A snowstorm bearing down on the southeast has caused road conditions to worsen drastically, making proper driving very important.

With up to 20 cm expected, roads will be coated for a while until crews can clear that up.

SGI Sokesperson Tyler McMurchy reminds people of some of the practices they should remember before getting on the road.

“When you step out of your house and you see your vehicle covered with snow, that's actually when safe winter driving starts is making sure that that vehicle gets cleaned off and making sure that you're leaving in plenty of time. You want to make sure you have enough time to fully wipe off and defrost the glass, both front, back, and sides.

People should also watch for any snow that's gathered onto lights or other parts of the car, in order to lessen any snow blowing off the vehicle.

Once someone's on the road, there are some techniques that are paramount to safety.

"Safe winter driving means understanding what road conditions you're dealing with. So getting a feel for the road and how your vehicle is performing, how your tires are maintaining that traction on the road, it's really important. So you start out by driving slowly, using gentle braking, gentle accelerating to maintain that traction with the road and of course increasing your following distance so you give yourself plenty of space between you and the vehicle in front of you so you have time to stop."

As he sudden snow storm has taken people by surprise, Mcmurchy says it's likely many aren't yet equipped with winter tires.

“Wwith the weather kind of turning cold, that's when you really start to get that benefit from the winter tires, because they're made of a different compound than your all seasons. So they're meant to perform better and maintain that grip on the road better than all seasons, which tend to be a little stiffer when the temperature drops below 7 degrees regularly. So probably a good idea to to start making plans to switch over."

McMurchy gives people a couple other tips on snowy roadways.

"If you're heading out on the highway and the road conditions are compromised, don't use cruise control and slippery conditions. That's something that we always recommend. Whenever visibility is low, it's a good idea to turn on your headlights so that activates your tail lights. In some particularly older vehicles tail lights aren't always visible when daytime running lights are going, so it's a good idea to turn on your headlights if visibility is reduced due to falling snow or fog."

As well, people should check the road conditions before they leave - which they can do on our road reports page.

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