Winter isn’t coming, it’s here.
After a mild, dry December, Saskatchewan woke up to frigid temperatures Tuesday morning, and many drivers were welcomed with a not-so-friendly reminder to plug in their cars.
“What we’re forgetting to do is take care of our vehicle,” said CAA Saskatchewan‘s Christine Niemczyk.
In 24 hours, from 10 a.m. Monday to 10 a.m. Tuesday, CAA’s Roadside Assistance centre responded to 200 calls across the province.
Niemczyk said most were for boosts and battery services. The remainder of customers needed tire changes, fuel deliveries and tows out of snowbanks.
Once the mercury drops below -15 C, Niemczyk said it’s a good idea to plug in your vehicle, make sure the extension cord isn’t frayed and connected to a proper power source.
“Take care of your vehicle, everything from winter tires, to oil, to lubricants, to working seat belts,” said Niemczyk, adding drivers should have winter roadside assistance kits packed in their vehicles.
“If you have room for a gym bag or hockey equipment, you have room for a roadside assistance kit,” she said.
Kits should include food, water, booster cables, a flashlight and extra outdoor clothing.
Niemczyk said the kit isn’t just for the driver, but for all passengers.
“Just think, ‘if I’m stranded on the road, what do I need to keep myself and my occupants safe and warm,'” Niemczyk said.
Even though winter comes every year, Niemczyk said drivers have to “re-learn” the rules of the road and drive according to the weather and road conditions.
“We know that we’re not the only other drivers out there and the roads are going to get worse, a little bit slicker, a little bit more snow-covered,” Niemczyk said. “The number one thing we forget to do is allow ourselves time to get to where we need to go.”
Drivers can call CAA Roadside Assistance at 1-800-222-4357 or request assistance online or through the mobile app.
The latest road conditions can be found online at the Highway Hotline website.