Bad weather should equal fewer accidents

Eraina usually fills this space with her valued opinion, but on Dec. 19 she flew home for the holidays. We all wish her and her family a very merry Christmas but her being away means you’re stuck with me. Oh come on, it’s not that bad. Do you want to know what is? Yes, it’s the weather and this week that’s my beef.

Kim Hutchison:

Eraina usually fills this space with her valued opinion, but on Dec. 19 she flew home for the holidays. We all wish her and her family a very merry Christmas but her being away means you’re stuck with me. Oh come on, it’s not that bad. Do you want to know what is? Yes, it’s the weather and this week that’s my beef.

It’s not so much the weather that I truly have a problem with. Sure – not being able to stand outdoors any longer than 45 seconds at a time isn’t my idea of a good time and plugging my car in every night is something I very recently had to learn how to do (not necessary in Nova Scotia…yet) but it’s the people driving on the roads who are virtually in a hurry to go no where ultimately leaving them in a ditch, someone’s bumper, or the critical care unit of the hospital if they’re lucky that really amaze me.

I went to Edmonton this weekend to visit my sister and to attempt to put a dent in my barely started Christmas shopping and on my one hour and ten minute drive I saw 20 accidents. For some odd reason I feel compelled to repeat that so here it is again. Within a 100 km radius I saw two, three car pile-ups, umpteen vehicles getting pulled from ditches, five ambulances, two fire trucks and at least 10 police cars headed toward – my guess – the other 40 accidents I didn’t see. I can’t seem to comprehend how something so avoidable can be so common. I have things to do and places to go and people to see too, but that doesn’t mean I feel the need to suddenly jerk my wheel and switch lanes to speed by you if you’re going a few kms under the speed limit. When people get annoyed, angry, or just feel like they have to be somewhere as soon as possible, that’s when accidents (which I think should be called “purposes” if they occur under the previously mentioned circumstances) happen.

It’s important to remember that snow tires and/or large trucks don’t equal invincibility. When people drive over confidently in bad weather (bad meaning extremely cold, not just snowy creating poor visibility) they endanger their lives and the lives of other motorists sharing road. Tire traction reduces as temperature declines so imagine the traction you have at -38 degrees? Also, just because everything is peachy in Ponoka doesn’t mean you’re safe from bad weather for the remainder of the evening. In Cape Breton people always say, “if you don’t like the weather at your front door check the back”, meaning weather can change at a moment’s notice so if you’re planning a road trip or tooting 20 minutes out of town, take a glance at the forecast so you can have some idea of what to expect along your travels. As cliché as it may sound, I’d rather get somewhere late then not make it there at all. No mater what the season may be, carelessness and excessive speed combined with irritation and aggravation usually equals an accident so try not to fall into that trap or be the victim of someone else who has.

Also always important to remember and the topic of last week’s editorial: If you’re going to be drinking somewhere this holiday season (or any season for that matter as well), get a cab, or have an actual responsible and reliable designated driver take you home.

To everyone in Ponoka, have a safe and happy Christmas. If you’re spending it with those you love or wishing you were spending it with those who are unable to be here whatever the reason may be, enjoy the big day as best you can.

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