A new video released by police shows the horrifying moment when a wheel flew into an oncoming car traveling on a busy Ontario freeway earlier this month.
It happened Nov. 6 on Highway 403 near Mavis Road in Mississauga, Ontario Provincial Police told CTV News Toronto.
In video posted to Twitter on Tuesday, dashcam footage shows a vehicle to the left of the camera braking abruptly and swerving. Then, in no time at all, you can see a car’s wheel bounce in the direction of the oncoming vehicle before smashing right into its front end.
The car appears to have sustained serious damage following the impact and someone in the vehicle can be heard reacting to the sudden impact before the vehicle swerves off the road.
According to OPP Sgt. Kerry Schmidt, this is just one of the few cases of stripped wheels reported in the area in recent days.
A detached wheel crashed into a driver’s vehicle as they drove on a busy Toronto freeway on November 6. (Twitter/OPP_HSD)
He said in that case the driver of the vehicle with the loose wheel was tracked down and charged with incorrect tires over maintenance issues.
“This is the time of year when we get an influx of wheel splits,” he said in an interview with CTV News Toronto.
The video follows CAA South Central Ontario as they release their annual winter driving tips as colder weather sets in after a warmer than usual start to November.
CAA has partnered with four other organizations, including the OPP and the Ontario Department of Transportation, to offer some driving tips to keep you, your passengers and fellow drivers safe on the road this winter.
According to the five agencies, the first thing you should do is have your winter tires fitted.
“It gives you that extra control in those wintry conditions or even colder temperatures,” said Schmidt.
OPP Sgt. Kerry Schmidt speaks to CP24 on November 15, 2022.
“Your All Seasons will get you going, you can still ride it but if you come down in a temperature below seven degrees [Celsius]it will give you that extra bit of traction on those cold roads and those icy, slippery conditions.”
But as the video reveals, Schmidt warns that these installations must be done properly, otherwise they “can be deadly.”
He suggests that if you’re fitting the wheels yourself, you should read the manual, follow the instructions, and go back and check your wheel fasteners to make sure they’re properly tightened after a short run.
Also, if you have your winter tires fitted at a body shop, you should be able to have them re-tightened for free if you feel like they’re getting loose.
“It’s happening so fast… The ability for you to react and avoid that collision is almost impossible,” Schmidt said.
Schmidt said there have already been a number of fatal incidents this season from car tires coming off on Ontario highways.
In one case, a 77-year-old man was killed after a flywheel crashed into a vehicle on the Queen Elizabeth Way motorway last month.
A white Mercedes was hit by a flying wheel on October 18, 2022. (OPP)
Aside from wheel safety, CAA said drivers need to stay focused on the road, even if it’s a routine ride like to and from work, and adjust their speed to weather conditions.
Also, the agency provided a four-point checklist to ensure you reach your destination safely.
KEEP THE GAS TANK ABOUT HALF FULL
According to the CAA, cold weather can cause condensation inside your vehicle, which can cause the fuel line to freeze and prevent your car from starting.
REMOVE SNOW FROM YOUR CAR BEFORE DRIVING
Any snow left on the roof could slide down onto the windshield and obscure your view, the CAA said.
ENSURE YOUR WIPER FLUID IS FULL
CAA suggests storing extra liquid in your trunk and making sure it’s rated for minus 40 degrees Celsius.
KEEP AN EMERGENCY KIT ON STOCK
If you get stuck, be sure to have plenty of supplies on hand, including a flashlight and extra batteries, warning devices (e.g. flares, reflective vests/strips), a first aid kit, blankets, jumper cables, and non-perishable food and water and a phone charger. Also have an ice scraper, small shovel, and snow brush handy.
If you are involved in a collision or your car breaks down, the OPP recommends pulling your vehicle off the road if it is possible and safe to do so.
“Never stop in the lane, park off-street whenever possible and remain in your vehicle until emergency services arrive,” the statement said.