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Ready or not, winter is coming: Tips to prepare for long season ahead

REGINA – With five to 10 centimeters of snow in the forecast for southern Saskatchewan, hardware stores and auto body shops are gearing up for the busy season ahead.

Staff at Canadian Tire in Regina’s north end were stocking up on things like shovels and snow blowers Monday ahead of the snowfall.

They weren’t the only ones. Auto body shops in the Queen City are already working around the clock to get vehicles ready for the slippery season ahead.

“We’ve been very steady since the beginning of October,” said Geoff Wiebe, sales manager at Kal Tire. “Now with snow in the forecast…it looks extremely busy and will probably be busy for the next few weeks in a row for sure.”

Switching out your tires for winter tires shouldn’t be the only thing on the checklist.

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Wiebe said you’ll need to make sure your vehicle is winterized, which includes switching out fluids and wiper blades.

Just as important as it is to prepare your vehicle for the winter, is ensuring you drive to the conditions.

According to SGI more than 1,500 crashes in Saskatchewan were attributed to people driving too fast for road conditions from November 2013 to March of 2014. This resulted in seven deaths and more than 600 injuries.

“It always seems like it’s the first time you’ve ever driven in snow the first time you get that first bit of snow,” explained Kelley Brinkworth, SGI media relations manager.  “So the most important thing is just to adjust your speed. When you see that posted speed limit remember that is for ideal driving conditions.”

One tool to help you prepare for less than ideal conditions is Saskatchewan’s Highway Hotline.  The site is now running 24/7, giving drivers an updated view on icy and dicey roads.

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