Advance View: Think of safety for Easter trip

It’s spring… almost.

Technically, spring started nearly a month ago, and Easter is traditionally a time to officially recognize the changing of the seasons.

Just look at proofs of spring springing up all around you: the plants know it, the bugs and the birds know it… but the roads don’t.

And the weather remains unsure.

It’s not always so bad around these parts in the Lower Mainland, but Easter, in addition to introducing spring, also tends to kick off the family road-trip season.

It means that the roads can be busy and crowded, while at the same time, they can quickly and unexpectedly shift back into winter conditions, especially if you’re journeying outside the relatively wet and mild coastal climate zone.

Get a read on the weather before you leave – and not just the local weather, but all the weather you may encounter between here and your destination.

Don’t go into a potential snowstorm unprepared.

Make sure your vehicle – which may not have been subjected to the rigours of a long trip since last fall – is prepared for the road ahead.

Check the engine oil, washer fluid, and lights, and make sure your vehicle’s tires, including the spare, are in good condition and properly inflated.

And remember that many parts of B.C. can’t be accessed without crossing mountain passes that require snow tires until April 30.

Then there’s the usual stuff that applies anywhere, anytime.

Ensure you’re well rested for the drive, and prepared so you don’t end up in an unnecessary hurry. Turn off the cellphone, no drinking and driving, stop to eat, and pay attention to the road.  

Also, remember that the warmer weather brings out more cyclists, motorcyclists, and pedestrians. Share the road courteously, and the dividend is less chance you or someone else will die.

– B.G.

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