Before you head out this winter season, it's important to prepare your vehicle for the road conditions.
Sgt. Brian Neilmeyer, Detachment Commander with the Weyburn RCMP, said that first and foremost you should "contact the Highway Hotline to ensure that you have decent traveling weather, and that there's not any kind of storms or anything like that in the forecast."
As well, before embarking on your winter driving trip, Sgt. Neilmeyer said that it's best to have your cellphone fully charged with a portable charger nearby.
In addition, "A survival kit is an excellent idea to have with extra clothes, some water, some high energy snacks, a shovel, booster cables are always a good thing, and tow rope. Make sure that you're planning, giving yourself extra time before you actually depart on your trip to wherever you need to go."
He said topping up your washer fluid and filling up the gas tank before you hit the road is also ideal.
"Make sure that your windows are free of all ice and snow before you start driving so you can see everything safely. Remove all the snow from your vehicle, you know from your headlights, tail lights and roof. Certainly, as in any traveling kind of a trip, make sure all your passengers are utilizing their seat belts."
Sgt. Neilmeyer added that if you hit poor road conditions, ensure that you slow down and take the utmost care in driving: "...you don't use cruise control on slippery roads because of course if you skid, your vehicle will accelerate rapidly, which isn't going to be a good idea."
If you happen to become stranded on the highway, he emphasized to stay in your vehicle and to turn it on and off periodically in order to stay warm; with the mindset of conserving fuel.
"Make sure that your tailpipe is free of any kind of obstructions, so that the potential for carbon monoxide poisoning isn't going to exist."
"If you do become immobilized, sometimes the police can't get there to assist you at that time. Having a little bit of money is always handy in the event that you'll need a tow truck."
Sgt. Neilmeyer ended by reiterating, "there's nothing so important that you have to get to, typically, that you should put your safety in harm's way."