With the snow starting to hit the ground, it’s a good time to start planning for winter driving.
Snow may be possible over the Thanksgiving weekend, especially if you’re planning a long drive to visit loved ones. With the snow hitting a little earlier this year, taking precautions will prevent unwanted stops or issues on the road.
SGI’s Tyler McMurchy told battlefordsNOW that in this province, the weather can change in an instant and you have to adjust accordingly.
“We know in Saskatchewan, we might be dealing with winter conditions five months out of the year, maybe more when it starts early like this in October,” he said. “We could be dealing with a good long winter here in Saskatchewan. Along with that does present some challenges when it comes to driving. There’s reduced traction on the roads, and there is reduced visibility.”
Moving into the long weekend, it's crucial to follow the winter driving tips that SGI is rolling out. Checking services like the highway hotline or the forecast provided will go a long way to travelling safely, McMurchy said.
“We want to remind people that if they are going to be travelling anywhere to visit friends or family for the Thanksgiving long weekend, it’s something they’re going to want to keep in mind,” he said. “Definitely check the highway hotline for likely conditions you’ll have to deal with. If you ever see the travel not recommended on the highway hotline, stay off the roads and make alternate plans.”
When the snow starts flying and you’re on the road, it’s important to start thinking about adjusting speeds and adjusting the way in which you drive. McMurchy said that SGI wants to encourage drivers that being cautious and arriving safely is more important than those few extra minutes you try to save by driving faster.
“Make sure you’re travelling at appropriate speeds; the posted speed limits are for ideal driving conditions when the highways dry and visibilities perfect,” he said. “If you have anything less than that, you have to adjust your speed accordingly. On a long weekend, you have plenty of time to get there, we don’t want you rushing and driving too fast for road conditions.”
There are a few extra precautions that SGI is trying to push on drivers as the winter starts to set in across the prairies. McMurchy says that these small changes can save yourself and those you're with, along with other drivers around you.
“Clear the snow from your vehicle, make sure your windows are completely defrosted before you drive,” he said. “Invest in a set of winter tires, they provide that improved traction. Make sure you turn your headlights on at night, or anytime visibility is poor during the day, and also remind people to not use cruise control when in slippery conditions.”
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