Medicine Hat Media

Bad Weather and Bad Driving

Medicine Hat has been hit, as we all know, with a belated snowfall. What is more, it rained prior to the snow, making the roads all the more slippery. Lack of traction is not entirely the culprit for accidents; it rests mostly on the drivers who do not give themselves enough time to properly brake on the winter-coated streets.

Following the actual speed limits in winter and pre-braking are the easiest way to avoid accidents, but also down shifting helps quite a lot. When I come down the Dunmore Road hill ever morning for work, I ride the clutch in first year and barely brake at all, because it is just that effective and easy.

Coming home from work on Tuesday, I noticed a car beside me on Dunmore Road following too closely to a van in front of her. Naturally the light turned yellow, the van stomped on the brake and the girl slid into him. Even with no one in front of me, I still down shifted a good way prior to the intersection because I did not want any 180 degree spins going on. And when people might think their car is too light to maintain such traction, keep in mind that I drive a light little Neon that has all-year-round tires, not winter tires. It weighs nothing (in comparison to most other other vehicles), and takes a while sometimes to get going on an icy street, especially in icy hills, but I have never been in an accident and never have gotten stuck, even in deep Saskatchewan snow falls.

If you are in the right lane on a two lane street, the best thing you can do if you are sliding or having trouble slowing down is to grind against the curb on the side of the road, or even a boulevard, not randomly crank the wheel one way or the other, which initiates a spin. Grinding or hitting the curb is a better alternative to hitting someone in front of you by far. That way, since it would be your fault for not giving enough brake time, you would have to pay for their damages, your damages, and your insurance rates would increase from being in an accident that you are at fault for, and most often, hitting the curb will not damage your car much at all, if at all.

Drive safe.

User Comments

One Response to “Bad Weather and Bad Driving”

  1. December 11th, 2008 at 3:23 PM

    Dusty says:

    I remember how I explained your last paragraph to you last year when I kept going into the curb whenever I was out of control. When it was really bad I could hardly accelerate at intersections because I have no traction. The roads were awful, I don’t understand why people were going fast at all, I drive fast but I never went above 40.

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