December 11, 2014 - 7:28 AM
Last week I had occasion to drive to the Fraser Valley, not long after a minor snowstorm. When I arrived I was inevitably asked “how were the roads?”
“The roads were fine,” I replied. “It’s the idiots on them that make it difficult.”
Here for your edification, and in the name of public safety, is a brief summary of some of the dunderheads you are likely to encounter on our roads between now and sometime around Easter.
Invincible Dave: Dave drives a massive SUV or (worse) a pick-up truck. Because it has big 4x4 stickers on it, he thinks it is immune from the laws of physics. He has no idea that all-wheel-drive doesn’t help you stop and he will therefore slide through every intersection he comes to, convinced that if he didn’t have a 4x4 it would be much worse. On the highway almost every accident you see will involve Invincible Dave.
The Newbie: Every Volkswagen Golf with an “N” on it is being more-or-less steered by one of these. The Newbie passed his test last July, having never driven on snow before now. He has no clue what winter tires are, nor what to do when his car inevitably starts to slide. But hey, donuts are fun! Give him a wide berth; it will be a mercifully short time before he improves the safety of our roads by disappearing backwards into the scenery.
Hopeless Hal: Hal has one of those stupid little half-size pickup trucks with rear wheel drive and very old summer tires. Somehow he will make it as far as a level parking lot, which he will then be totally unable to exit. He will come into the store to ask you to help push him out. Ignore him. Please. It’s better if he stays there till spring.
The Truculent Trucker: He is the ultimate moron, combining arrogance and stupidity in equal measure, a trait normally only found in Americans. He’s been doing this for twenty years, and knows everything there is to know about winter driving. Except how to put his chains on. If you try and get past him on the highway he will pull out and start to overtake another semi, at which point he will match its speed and block your progress for at least 10 kilometres. Occasionally he will drift towards the centre where the snowplough has deposited its detritus, thereby sandblasting the front of your car until all the paint has gone.
Insecure Nora: Nora is nervous. Very nervous. Given a hint of snow she will grip the wheel of her Toyota until her knuckles are white. Where the highway has been reduced to one clear, dry lane, she will occupy it at a steady 45 kilometres per hour. The horrendous cocktail of slush and gravel in the other lane will make it impossible for anyone to attempt to get round her. Except Invincible Dave, who will try to pass her and crash.
— Please note the Grumpy Old Git never specifically mentioned Alberta drivers once in THIS column.
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2014