The snow started falling just past our print deadline for this week’s Airdrie City View. By the time our reporters woke up for our print production day on November 2.

Snowfall on Nov. 1 and 2 meant Rocky View County looked like a winter wonderland last week, with white snow blanketing streets and trees.

But the snow brought carnage to the streets, as motorists slipped and slipped in the freezing conditions. Unprepared for the realities of winter driving, many have found themselves in ditches or in unfortunate collisions with their fellow drivers.

In at least one case, the dangerous driving conditions of the past week turned out to be tragic. In the late morning of November 1, a Crossfield resident died after a collision between an SUV and a commercial vehicle north of Airdrie. Our newsroom offers the family of the deceased motorist our sincere condolences.

Out west, two occupants of another SUV were hospitalized after a collision with a commercial vehicle on Highway 1, west of Cochrane.

Recent snowfalls and motor vehicle collisions reinforce the importance of safe driving in winter conditions.

Given the October heat, it is highly likely that many motorists will not have swapped their summer and winter tires until November 1st. But it is crucial to install them on your vehicle, if you haven’t already.

If you’re driving in a snowy blizzard, be sure to follow some key safety protocols. Maintain a safe distance, do not brake suddenly and obey posted speed limits. If you are approaching a hill, accelerate slowly and maintain a steady speed while climbing to prevent your wheels from spinning.

It also goes without saying that driving should only be done while being alert, sober and wearing a seat belt.

Finally, winter is the best time to make sure your vehicle is ready for the trials and tribulations ahead. Make sure your battery and lights are in good working order and your brakes are in top condition. It’s also a good idea to have your exhaust and heater system inspected.

Winter driving is an unpleasant reality for most Canadians, and it’s something we need to get through together.

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