Saskatchewan has a large network of roads connecting its main highways.
These roads present driving challenges which differ from provincial highways. Sight distances may be shorter. There are no shoulders, curves are sharper and there are many T-intersections, which means that the road comes to an end, often with little notice.
Unlike main highways, these roads are not designed to permit you to get out of trouble if you happen to be travelling faster than the posted speed limit. The speed limits are to be taken seriously and should be regarded as maximums under ideal conditions. When there is no posted speed limit, the speed limit is 80 km/h under ideal conditions.
Gravel surfaces may cause problems. At times, the gravel may be deep and loose, making it difficult to steer around curves. At other times there may be so little gravel that you are actually driving in dirt, which is very slippery when wet.
When dry, gravel surfaces also create visibility problems. Every moving vehicle creates clouds of dust that make meeting and passing other vehicles very dangerous.
Railway crossings, crossroads and farm entrances are more difficult to see on these roads than when you are driving on provincial highways that provide better sight distances. You are also more likely to encounter slow-moving farm vehicles, livestock and wildlife.
Driving techniques for gravel roads
Drive at a speed suited to the conditions. This means drive slowly. When you exit from a provincial highway, slow down. Keep your eyes up. You need all the advance notice you can get.
To steer in deep gravel, grasp the wheel firmly. Expect that the vehicle will wander. You will not steer as precisely as you do on pavement, so do not fight it by turning the steering wheel too much - you could lose control.
Stay well back from dust clouds.
Always drive with your headlights on so that others can see you earlier than they otherwise might.
When meeting large trucks or farm equipment, slow down and pull as far to the right as possible. You may have to stop.