Driving conditions in Saskatchewan aren't always ideal. Inclement weather can affect roads and, as a motorist, you need to adjust your driving habits accordingly.
On average in Saskatchewan, road and weather conditions are a contributing factor in more than 8,500 vehicle collisions each year. These crashes result in an average of 1,530 injuries and 21 deaths annually.
It's important to recognize that poor visibility - whether caused by rain, snow, fog or bright sunlight - gives you less time to react to hazards. Slowing down and constantly scanning the road in front of you is the best way to stay safe.
- Posted speed limits are for ideal driving conditions. When those conditions deteriorate you must slow down in order to maintain control of your vehicle. So even if the posted limit is 100 km/h, in poor conditions you should be driving under that speed.
- If possible, prepare your car before your trip by checking the battery, windshield wipers and fluid levels.
- Be sure your headlights and taillights are functioning properly so that you can see (and be seen) in low visibility.
- Remember to use caution near intersections when the roads are slippery. Another driver may be approaching too fast and be unable to stop, so you should always look both ways before proceeding, even if you have the right of way.
- Leave more distance between your vehicle and the 1 in front of you when driving conditions are poor. Slippery surfaces increase your stopping distance, so following another vehicle too closely could result in a rear-end collision.
- This is especially true in the winter, when snow and ice present a unique challenge to drivers.
- Stay safe in the cold by checking the road and weather conditions before your trip and ensuring that your vehicle has a full tank of gas.
- Clear snow from your vehicle and be sure your windows are completely free of frost before hitting the road.
- When you're driving in the winter, keep both hands on the steering wheel and try to stay in 1 lane as much as possible.
- If you begin to skid or lose control of your vehicle, remain calm and take your foot off the accelerator. Don't lock the brakes. Instead, brake steadily, look where you want to go and steer in that direction.
- A roadside emergency kit is another essential part of safe winter driving. Put together and maintain a kit that has:
|a shovel||blankets||snow brush|
|first-aid kit||food||water cup|
No matter what causes poor driving conditions - from a winter blizzard or a summer rainstorm - remember that your 1st choice should be avoiding travel altogether. Wait until the conditions improve to ensure that you arrive at your destination safely.