Editorial: A few winter driving pet peeves

No matter how nice it is outside in January, we can’t count winter over in the Cowichan Valley until February has come and gone.

Last weekend and into this week has been a reminder not to be so sure that we’ve skipped winter for the year too early.

While the snowfall accumulations wouldn’t be anything to write home about in other provinces, or, indeed, even in other parts of B.C., here on the east coast of Vancouver Island Sunday’s storm was pretty epic.

The problem is that a lot of people are not prepared for such weather. It’s astonishing how many of them still try to get in their cars and head out. We’ve seen a few things that were cause for concern since the first snow fell late last week. A particular pet peeve is when folks don’t properly clean the snow off their vehicle before putting it in drive and taking off. On Friday morning, at least one vehicle had done the classic clearing of just enough snow to be able to peer out the front windshield on one side, leaving all the side windows and mirrors, back windshield and top of the car covered in a thick layer of snow. The person was very cautious when it came to speed, so it’s a mystery why they wouldn’t make things easier on themselves and take a few minutes to make sure they could actually see the road, both ahead and behind.

Another vehicle had cleared all the snow, except on top, then hit the highway, blowing big chunks of snow off the roof and onto the windshield of the unfortunate vehicle behind them.

Sure, it takes a wee bit of effort to clear the snow off your car, but it’s vital to making sure you, and the people around you, are safe on the road. This is important especially when conditions may not be ideal. Don’t be foolish. Take the time to brush the snow off.

Then there are the people in trucks who see the snowfall as a challenge, but in their haste don’t bother to at least weight down their truck bed. Your wildly swinging back end is a danger to both people and other vehicles — not a marker of how cool you are.

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