A fallen tree on Marshall Road was among the problems caused by windy weather in the Cowichan Valley on Tuesday. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)

A fallen tree on Marshall Road was among the problems caused by windy weather in the Cowichan Valley on Tuesday. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)

Vancouver Island RCMP warn of hazards of driving in windy and winter conditions

Weather conditions raised safety concerns

As winter approaches, the Vancouver Island RCMP is urging drivers to be aware of road conditions during their travels.

Last week’s windy weather conditions caused several traffic delays and concerns in the North Cowichan and Duncan areas, including a tree that fell on a vehicle on the Trans Canada Highway south of Duncan and downed power lines at a well-used intersection in Chemainus.

READ MORE: Power restored to most after wind leaves thousands without power on Vancouver Island

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Police, fire, and municipal staff ensured the road was closed until BC Hydro could attend. Thankfully, there were no injuries at either of these incidents, said acting road supervisor Const. Warren Kongus.

“Both are believed to be related to heavy winds, and police do not anticipate any charges to come from the calls,” he said. “Assistance from partner agencies helped to keep the community safe and return traffic to normal as soon as possible.”

Kongus said winter driving conditions can make for unsafe situations on the roads, even without snow or freezing temperatures.

“Please make sure that you’re watching out for hazards on or around the roads and giving yourself lots of time to get to your destination,” he said.

Police also recommend the following tips for winter driving:

• Take extra care to pay attention to your surroundings.

• Avoid using cruise control in bad weather.

• In strong winds, be careful not to jerk the steering wheel or over correct, and keep both hands on the wheel.

• Drive for the conditions. This can include using headlights when there is poor light and leaving extra space between yourself and other vehicles on the road.

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