Freezing rain on Tuesday caused chaos on Saskatchewan highways for much of Tuesday and Wednesday with many highways in the province still not recommended for travel.
The Saskatchewan RCMP stated that in less than 24 hours, their Operational Communication Centre received 59 reports of motor vehicle collisions and 37 non collision reports related to weather, such as traffic hazards and vehicles in the ditch.
These calls included two major incidents; one on highway #1 west of Swift Current at approximately 7:05 p.m. on Tuesday, where a semi-truck collided with a tow truck and the vehicle it was servicing.
Three people were taken to hospital as a result. A passenger in the stuck semi with injuries described as serious but non-life-threatening; the tow truck operator with injuries described as non-life-threatening; and the driver of the stuck semi, as a precaution. The incident is being investigated by the Swift Current Rural RCMP.
A second incident took place on Wednesday, in the west bound lane approximately 16 kilometers east of Kindersley where a semi-trailer unit was jack-knifed on the highway, with tow trucks not able to reach the location and resulting in the closure of Highway #7.
The Saskatchewan RCMP provided the following tips for winter driving and encourage all individuals to keep an eye on road conditions and postpone or cancel travel plans if possible.
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 slippery or snowy roads.
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.
Be prepared for anything: consider stocking your vehicle with extra warm clothes, candles, matches, non-perishable snacks, a snow shovel, traction mats, booster cables and a tow rope or chain.
If you become stranded on the highway, do not leave your vehicle! Turn on your vehicle periodically to warm up, but try to conserve fuel. Make sure your tailpipe remains clear of ice and snow, or carbon monoxide could potentially seep into your vehicle.