Another year of winter driving

The weekly editorial for the 100 Mile Free Press

As temperatures are warming up, and the immediate forecast has highs well above freezing, it seems we’ve hit the end of winter and with it winter driving.

In just the last week or so my wife and I have both gotten stuck on the road between our place and my in-laws, as has my mother-in-law, and I’ve had to turn around on two occasions after not being able to make it up a “hill.”

This winter as a whole I’ve seen many cars and trucks in the ditch.

One semi-truck went into the ditch right in front of me and on multiple occasions, I passed the scene of an accident mere seconds or minutes before it happened.

Just this morning, a car passed on a double solid into an oncoming passing lane. Although to be fair, even with the snow nearly entirely gone you couldn’t really tell it was a double solid due to a lack of paint.

We’ve had complaints about road conditions, truckers and other drivers (including drivers not from the area).

With the road conditions being what they are, winter often has some of the most accident-prone months on the road in Canada.

Tragically, we’ve seen some deaths this winter in the South Cariboo. Unfortunately, to some extent, surviving the South Cariboo roads in the winter is just luck of the draw: from wildlife to road conditions and other drivers.

However, I’m very pleased to have seen some exceptionally cautious driving as well.

There were a few days this winter where the visibility wasn’t just low with some fog but rather nearly non-existent with blowing snow.

There were also some days where the visibility was good but it was incredibly slippery. In my experience on those days, all traffic on Highway 97 seemed to crawl right down to 50 or 60 km/h with no or almost no outliers at all.

This is something I’m not sure I’ve seen very much in prior years driving in the South Cariboo.

Going to university in Williams Lake from Lac la Hache in prior years, I’ve seen many cars or trucks just zooming by even in terrible road conditions. As a whole, I think I’ve seen much less of that this year.

To that extent, I’d like to thank my fellow road users for not getting me involved in a serious accident (I’m knocking on wood) and most of my fellow road users for heeding the conditions.

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