It still feels weird to be driving home from work in the dark.
Though we’ve had a couple of weeks to adjust to the end of Daylight Savings Time it is sometimes still a shock to get out of work and see the stars overhead.
We also haven’t had to really adjust yet to winter weather. We can count on one hand the number of times we’ve had to scrape the frost off the car in the morning.
We’ve experienced a couple of storms now, but the thermometer has stayed decidedly on the mild side.
The rain, though, after this summer’s long drought, is still something to which we’re re-acclimating.
The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported that last month was the warmest October on record. It was the eighth month this year to record a historic overall high, with only January and April bucking the trend.
That’s alarming when we consider climate change.
But it has also, it seems, left us rather unprepared for winter driving.
We’re not entirely sure why it seems the population forgets how to safely drive through the elements when we don’t have to for a few months, but it behoves us all to give ourselves a little primer.
The crash that closed down the Malahat for much of Wednesday is at least partly being blamed on black ice.
It’s an abrupt and sad reminder of our mortality on the road in our speeding metal boxes.
Sometimes a crash is unavoidable. But there are things that we can do to give ourselves more of a safety cushion out there. And the more people doing those things the safer it is for everyone.
First and foremost, slow down.
Speed limits are set for optimal conditions — not in the dark, or on a road that has frozen overnight, or where water is pooling and catching your tires.
If you don’t know if it has frozen or not, some extra caution just in case never hurt anyone.
Second, leave appropriate stopping space between yourself and the car in front of you so that if they get into trouble, you don’t have to follow. Your hurry is never that important.