" well maintained roads built properly to handle the cold."
Driving in the north of Finland on holiday in the 1980s we soon became used to the road sign that indicated a stretch of a major road damaged by winter freezing. It wasn't just a question of potholes - there was no artificial surface left - and there were lots of small rocks. You picked your path carefully at slow speed.
There was usually no other traffic - seeing another car was a rarity.