Listening to the traffic jam – Scaredy car

With winter (hopefully) coming to a close I shall talk once more about driving in Canada. I have more topics planned so it doesn’t get too boring, but I did want to write about this. Again, might not be anyone’s interest, but you don’t have to read it, so it’s fine.

So, during my time here I noticed that there are a lot of scared drivers, especially when the weather “suddenly” changes. This seems to happen when a lot of Canadians don’t expect snow falling in the winter. Or rain any time else. While there are reasons to be careful for both, there should not be a reason to be scared. I often see it that in rainy weather people start to drive extremely slowly although aquaplaning usually doesn’t happen until around 90 km/h. Which is seldom reached in this country, to be frank. So water is not really a reason on the road. How about on the windshield? Perhaps. But the wipers should keep it at bay. If they don’t, definitely stop until the torrential downpour stops. If it’s the spray from other cars in front of you, keep your distance. But unless it is dark out and there is a lot of rain or a really thick fog, do not turn on the fog lights. It doesn’t look cool, it isn’t necessary under normal circumstances and it will potentially blind other drivers (especially if you drive a large truck). And don’t get me started about fog rear lights. They are really not necessary until visibility drops below around 50m or so. Because only then others will have trouble seeing you as they approach. Any lower density of fog will result in blinding the person behind you.

Now to talk about water under 0°C. The snow variety, not hail. Why are so many people scared of this? Well, to be honest, if it’s really icy or slippery out, you should be careful. Again though, careful, not scared. And the reason so many people are scared, in my humble opinion, is that they do not bother to get winter tires. Now I can understand trying to save money, but if you rely on your car a lot, it is definitely something worth investing. And no, no, no, in a land like Canada, please realize that all-season tires are crap. Sorry, I do not have a better word for this. They are useless in winter as they do not heat up while driving like winter tires and the material does not stay soft in colder temperatures like they do, either. In the summer, they will be used up too fast, much faster than summer tires. So… if you get them while buying a new car, which seems to be common here, keep them for the summer, just to not bother with new tires and save money. They will do for the summer. But do buy winter tires for the winter. And you will notice the difference.

Another thing that will make a difference is the style of driving. Again, carefulness will get you further. And knowing the traffic rules will do so even more. As I mentioned once before, driving a manual car would be an advantage, but I will ignore that for now and save it as a final major topic. Back to the traffic rules. I am not saying that people here do not know them. (Although a lot of them don’t.) But most of the drivers seem to ignore or forget them as they panic over bad road conditions. And thus they assume they have the right of way and cut someone off. This can be dangerous.

Therefore, to save yourself from a possible accidents and to not endanger anyone else, please try to get the money for winter tires and be calm and collected while driving. And if you really are too scared, then stay home, maybe find some courses for driving under extreme conditions or anything like that. My dad always said: Fear is the worst co-driver.

In that regard…

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