By Fatima Pirmohamed, November 23 2017 —
It’s that time of year again. The temperature has dropped to the negatives and snow keeps falling. Though it’s a friendly reminder that winter break is just around the corner, it’s also responsible for the volume of car accidents increasing tenfold. If you’ve lived through a Calgary winter, you’ve probably heard someone say something along the lines of, “As soon as it starts to snow, everyone forgets how to drive.” Here are three things to remember when driving on snowy roads.
1. Know what time you should leave by:
Avoid getting stuck in traffic and being late. Figure out what time you should leave by in order to get to your class on time, then leave 10 minutes later because you couldn’t find your keys or a pair of socks. Remember to make a detour for coffee to keep you awake and alert, which you’ll need because you’ll have to drive 40 km/h over the speed limit to be on time. If you get pulled over, you’ll have a pretty legitimate reason for being late — and the ticket to prove it! If you’re really worried about being on-time, you can always just sleep in your lecture hall the night before. You’ll be in class before it even starts.
2. Be cautious:
In order to conserve battery power, don’t turn on your headlights. It doesn’t matter if the sun hasn’t risen yet. Most on-campus parking lots don’t have outlets and you’ll want your block heater to be working when it’s -25 C outside. If there’s poor visibility conditions, don’t worry — you can use the headlights of the cars around you to see further down the road. If you’re stressed about not knowing what’s in front of you on the road, just follow really closely behind a vehicle. Tailgating is also a great strategy to use someone else as a lookout.
3. Speed, speed, speed:
Though it may seem counterintuitive, going faster on icy roads can actually make your commute much safer. You don’t want to be on these roads for very long. To minimize the amount of time in which you could get in an accident, drive generously over the speed limit and you’ll get to your destination much faster. Plowing down Crowchild at a steady 110 km/h in the right-hand lane is actually the safest way to navigate those treacherous streets. The less time you spend on snowy roads, the better.
This article is part of our humour section.