It was inevitable. Residents of Regina and the surrounding area woke up to a blanket of snow on November 11th; it was something all the meteorologists predicted. In fact, nobody should be surprised to see snow at this time of year in Saskatchewan. Even the jackrabbits knew…
In Regina, from midnight on November 10th to 6:00 a.m. today (November 12th), there were eleven collisions reported where there were (fortunately) no injuries and only vehicle or property damage. There were also two hit-and-run collisions; these were also property-damage-only collisions. We can’t say all of these collisions were the result of road conditions, but some of them resulted from drivers not paying attention and adjusting to road conditions. Remember the posted speed limit shows a maximum under ideal conditions. Snow, ice and poor visibility may be ideal for polar bears, but not for human operators of motor vehicles.
Make the adjustments and enhance your success on your commute:
- If you haven’t done this already, get winter tires on your vehicle. (If your winter tires are already on your vehicle, give yourself a pat on the back!)
- If you leave your vehicle while it’s running and warming up, don’t leave keys in the ignition with doors unlocked. If you must, use a spare key to start your vehicle and then lock it. Vehicle thefts, including yours, can go up if you don’t.
- Use a scraper and brush to clear snow and ice off all windows, mirrors and your license plate. Make sure you can see and be seen. The “marshmallow on wheels” look is so 2020.
- Give yourself extra time to get to your destination. This adjustment starts at your alarm clock, or maybe even your bedtime the night before. Don’t expect your winter commute to take the same amount of time as your summer drive.
- Once you’re on the road, slow down for the existing conditions. Make sure you have proper stopping distance. Expect intersections to be slippery. And, be aware of the traffic around you; try to give everyone a little more space, courtesy and patience.
- If you’re a pedestrian on our winter streets, no sudden moves, please! Recognize that drivers need more time and distance to come to a stop. Cross at crosswalks; no mid-block scaling of snow-windrows, please.
- If you are making plans for a longer journey check the highway conditions, either online Check Highway Road Conditions (Highway Hotline) | Saskatchewan Highways | Government of Saskatchewan or by calling 1-888-335-7623. Pay attention to weather forecasts and don’t head out if you can avoid travel in poor weather. If you must go: wear warm clothing, pack emergency essentials, call ahead, have your cellphone charged, and drive with caution.
Winter happens…every year. A little planning and care can make winter driving a lot more fun – maybe fun is too strong a word – a lot more manageable. Stay safe!