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Either because of last-minute Christmas shopping, family gatherings, or work outings, the roads throughout the province are busy.

With winter at its height, driving in low-light is becoming increasingly regular. Year to date 74 fatal collisions have taken place resulting in the death of 80 people, which is slightly above the 68 collisions and 76 deaths from last year.

With the low-light, more people feeling exhausted, and an increased level of traffic on the roads it's important to remain vigilant says RCMP Media Relations, Officer Sgt. Paul Manaigre.

He says when driving in the dark, it becomes difficult to see where you're going and when you're tired it poses other risks.

"In reality driving when fatigued is very similar to being impaired by alcohol, your body has a slowed reaction when it comes to reacting to perhaps something in front or slows your decision making."

You always want to travel when well rested says Manaigre, pulling a 12 - 16 hour day and then driving for an extended period is not recommended. He says especially late at night your body is in a position where it wants to rest, and you need full attention on the roadways.

Manaigre says RCMP do see some people who do pull over to rest when they are feeling tired, but he says people should preferably find a parking lot or other location that takes you completely off the road, to avoid possibly getting hit from behind.

Manaigre says when driving, you'll see two kinds of lights halogen, and HID lights, but most importantly headlights need to be kept clean.

He notes it's good to have bright lights so you can see; however, people need to be aware of others on the road.

"Under the Highway Traffic Act you a required to dim your high beams when meeting oncoming vehicles. Even if you're approaching someone from behind, you want to dim your high beams because that is a distraction to them."

Regardless of the conditions or time of the year, Manaigre says RCMP has a pretty consistent message, asking motorists not to drink and drive, wear your seat belt and drive safely.

Manaigre notes that no one wants to be the family that receives the message that a loved one was affected by someone else's poor decision.

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