This week has been the annual test of every motorist’s “road patience”, especially for those drivers caught in this week’s nasty mess in the province’s south. It’s a clear indication that it’s time for drivers to brush up on winter driving protocols, says Saskatchewan RCMP. The ice and snow may vanish for a bit, but soon enough the next inevitable wintry blast will arrive along with the need to contend with winter road conditions.

RCMP advises motorists to consider the following:

- Scrape all the ice off your windows before driving – if you can’t see, you can’t drive safely.

- Remove all snow from your vehicle, including from your headlights, taillights and roof.

- Slow down on snowy or slippery roads. Remember that some roads may be more slippery than they appear. Beware of black ice.

- Be gentle and smooth when you accelerate, brake or steer.

- Using cruise control on icy or snowy roads can be dangerous! If you skid, your vehicle will accelerate and rapidly spin its wheels as it tries to maintain a constant speed.

- Before traveling, check the weather forecast for both your current location and destination. If travel can be delayed during storm warnings, do so.

- Be prepared for anything: consider stocking your vehicle for the winter with extra warm clothes, candles, matches, non-perishable snacks, a snow shovel, traction mats, booster cables and a tow rope or chain.

Drive safely out there this winter.