How to Drive in Smoky Road Conditions

Smoky Road Driving Challenges

As fellow Canadians, we are bearing witness to the devastation that can occur from wildfires. Our hearts go out to the residents of Fort McMurray as they struggle to seek safety. We have seen the roads filled with vehicles evacuating areas on very little notice, with fires raging only a short distance away. Young Drivers of Canada would like to remind motorists of the dangers of driving near forest fires and would like to provide motorists with some driving tips in the event they encounter the effects of a wildfire.

Driving Tips for Smoky Roadways
1. Fire by nature is unpredictable. The direction and amount and density of smoke can change rapidly with the wind. If you know there are forest fires on your driving route, look for alternate roads to travel or avoid travel if possible.

2. Be aware of the latest road conditions especially if you are travelling in unfamiliar territory.

3. Leave space between you and other vehicles. Visibility will be decreased in smoky conditions. By leaving space, you will have a safe stopping distance between you and the next vehicle in the event of an emergency.

4. Keep your windshield clean from ash or dust which may accumulate. All windows should be tightly closed while driving.

5. Avoid using your high beams. High beam light will decrease visibility in the smoky air. Oncoming drivers may be blinded or become distracted by the use of your high beams.

6. Carry emergency items such as a cell phone and first aid kit. Let people know you are travelling and when you plan on arriving at your destination.

As we have seen through the images of Fort McMurray, driving near a wildfire should only occur in an emergency situation or under a mandatory evacuation. If your situation can be avoided, do not drive or find an alternate route as far away from smokey road conditions. Our thoughts are with the residents of Fort McMurray, Alberta.