This holiday season stay alert—and stay safe

There’s no doubt about it, winter driving can be difficult—and downright dangerous. Freezing rain, snow, sleet, and whiteouts all make getting from point A to point B safely a challenge. Add in the stress and busyness of the holidays, and you have the perfect storm.
During this time of year, we often find ourselves being pulled in many different directions. But Operation Lifesaver wants to remind Canadians that trying to multitask while behind the wheel can have devastating consequences, especially when trains and tracks are involved. Too often, Canadians are injured, or even killed, because they’re distracted at rail crossings—whether it’s by loud music, conversations, or their phones.
“The holidays are a busy time of year, one that often entails a lot of driving. Coupled with that,  poor visibility and icy roads can make it hard for drivers to see railway crossings, putting them on a collision course with oncoming trains. So, drivers need to be extra vigilant about their surroundings and avoid unnecessary distractions at this time of year,” says Sarah Mayes, National Director of Operation Lifesaver Canada.
Operation Lifesaver has just launched a new campaign to remind Canadians to put away their devices when they’re behind the wheel this holiday season, so that it doesn’t land them on Santa’s “naughty list,” or worse—injured or killed. Here are some other tips to ensure your driving is rail-safe this holiday season:
  • Plan ahead. Check the weather forecast before travelling. If conditions deteriorate while you're on the road, stop at the nearest town or rest area and wait until it's safe to drive.
  • Reduce your speed. When road conditions are poor, it takes longer to stop. Always slow down well in advance of railway crossings. 
  • Make sure you look and listen for oncoming trains. Turn off the radio and heating fans and roll down your window—especially if it’s frosty or foggy—and look both ways and listen for trains before crossing the tracks.
  • Use winter tires. They have treads designed to grip ice and snow, so you'll be less likely to slide on the road or into the side of a train.
Remember, rail safety is everyone’s responsibility. So be rail-smart when driving this holiday season and help us #STOPTrackTragedies.