Be care­ful out there

The Compass - - OPINION - An­drew Robin­son is The Com­pass’ ed­i­tor. He can be reached at ed­i­tor@cb­n­com­pass.ca. ed­i­tor@CB­N­com­pass.ca

It is some­what surreal to think that tem­per­a­tures are only now get­ting to the point where one can ex­pect to truly shiver if not dressed ap­pro­pri­ately when go­ing out­side.

This time last year, peo­ple through­out the Avalon Penin­sula were al­ready sev­eral weeks into curs­ing the amount of snow pil­ing up in drive­ways and cov­er­ing roads. With that in mind, it’s hard to com­pre­hend that much of De­cem­ber was more in keep­ing with the fall weather-wise.

Ice, for one, was not an is­sue through most of the month. Road con­di­tions were gen­er­ally great as a re­sult. The lack of ice was help­ful too for those look­ing to make it down a hill on two feet in­stead of two cheeks.

With win­ter now seem­ingly set to stay for the next few weeks — hon­estly, spring will be here be­fore you know it — peo­ple need to ad­just their ex­pec­ta­tions when head­ing out on the roads.

Snow and ice buildup can prove to be a treach­er­ous ob­sta­cle for driv­ers. The common re­frain from folks check­ing traf­fic on the ra­dio morn­ing shows is that for th­ese sorts of con­di­tions, peo­ple need to slow down.

It’s un­de­ni­ably a common sense thing. But there are ob­vi­ously peo­ple who will not get the mes­sage. Whether it’s an over­rid­ing sense of con­fi­dence in the type of ve­hi­cle used or the ca­pa­bil­i­ties of win­ter tires, there are driv­ers out there pre­pared to treat snow and ice no dif­fer­ently than a clear road.

That’s un­for­tu­nate not only for the driver but also the gen­eral pub­lic. When snow plows clear two-lane high­ways, the pass­ing lane gen­er­ally does not get cleared simultaneously with the right lane. Those who elect to use a snow-cov­ered pass­ing lane are not only tak­ing a risk for them­selves, but also those they pass. A slight swerve has the po­ten­tial to send two ve­hi­cles off the road.

Check­ing the weather fore­cast this time of year is very im­por­tant. If you ex­pect road con­di­tions will slow you down, give your­self ex­tra time to leave for work. Do not rush out there in less than ideal con­di­tions, even if it means be­ing late.

Ul­ti­mately, you’re bet­ter off late than stuck in a ditch.

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