CN Police want you to stay safe this winter

6 November 2023

CN Police Winter Driving (PDF)

No matter where you live, chances are you will face some challenging driving conditions in the months ahead. Freezing rain, snow, sleet, and whiteouts can make winter driving downright dangerous.

According to the Federal Railroad Administration, there is a spike in railroad crossing collisions during the winter months. This is due to many factors, including:

  • Ice and snow making it harder for drivers to stop and manoeuvre their vehicles
  • Snow covered roads that hide pavement markings
  • Blowing snow, fog, and sleet that reduce visibility
  • Snowbanks and snow in trees that reduce sight lines

Reducing the likelihood of being in a serious car crash in winter starts with proper planning and knowing your rail safety basics.

Following these simple tips can help to keep you safe when you encounter train tracks this winter.

Plan ahead and check the weather forecast before travelling – not only for your current location, but also your destination. If conditions deteriorate while you are on the road, stop at the nearest town or rest area and wait until it is safe to continue driving.

Reduce your speed when road conditions are poor. Always slow down well in advance of railroad crossings. The more time you have to react, the better chance you have of avoiding a collision.

Avoid distractions when approaching a railroad crossing, by turning off your radio or your heating fans to better listen for approaching trains. Reduced visibility and sounds from a storm can make it more difficult to see and hear if a train is coming. Roll down your windows – especially if they are frost covered or foggy – and look both ways before crossing the tracks.

Look for railroad warning signs and signals. Snow may cover train tracks at a crossing, making them look like the road. Look for warning signs and other indications that there is a railroad crossing ahead so you can prepare to stop.

Do not drive impaired by alcohol and drugs, which will reduce your ability to pay attention and react quickly to changing road conditions.

Emergency Notification System sign is located at each public grade crossing. If you encounter an emergency on the railroad tracks, get out of your car immediately, find the blue and white sign at the crossing and notify the railroad company of the emergency.

Remember, any time is train time. Trains can travel in either direction at any time. Trains can stop, but they cannot stop quickly. It could take a train a mile or more to come to a full stop.


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