“Leave some room and keep your hands up,” this old directive from your grade school principal at school dances should be your guiding mantra as you drive on snow-filled roads.
So Toronto gets at least 50 centimetres of snow over a one-week period and judging by the idiocy of some drivers in this city, I now easily understand why panic sets in at the first few flakes which flutter down.
I am now a firm believer that in order to get your license you should be required to take driver training in the winter and not just in the city but in the back-country- where the elements are far less forgiving and roads get plowed when the snow plow digs itself out.
We live in C-A-N-A-D-A my dear Toronto-area drivers. You know, “The True North Strong and Free”, the land whose iconic imagery includes polar bears, igloos, Eskimos, outdoor ice hockey, the Rockies and icebergs. I know Toronto sometimes considers itself a country unto itself but it is not and here is the newsflash- it is February in CANADA and gosh darn-it- it tends to SNOW this time of year.
Keeping that in mind, remember to use your signal when driving in this weather. Some drivers definitely need to be reacquainted with this neat little feature all cars have. You tend to activate it when you hit this lever attached to your steering column. The sound goes “click, click” when you hit it and this causes a light to flash in the direction you flick the lever- incredible- I know.
When you remove snow from your car after a good dusting, just clearing a four inch by four inch square on your windshield- so you can look straight ahead- is not the brightest thing to do. I saw this phenomena, not once, not twice but three times today.
To our sports car enthusiasts, you know who are, you have a sweet ride with a car stereo which rivals the car’s value. The low-profile tires on your vehicle will do you no good in snow and sleet. I saw a dozen cars with low-profile tires struggling up inclines or skidding and bouncing into snow banks today.
If you can afford a sporty car, you can afford a set of all-season or snow tires. Frankly, you do not look too cool spinning in one spot as a 1983 Toyota Corolla calmly drives past you.
Remember to leave plenty of space in front of you just in case you have to brake suddenly or hit a slippery patch. Drive in lower gears, use your signal and keep your eyes on the roads and hands upon the wheel as Jim Morrison crooned.
Whether you like it or not, when bad weather hits, all drivers are in it together, so find some patience and courtesy along the way. If you do, you might just get to kiss that cute girl or boy at the end of your dance.