Tuesday 3 January 2012

Another frosty morning, treacherous driving

Jan. 1st snowfall
Jan. 2nd snowfall
I purposefully did not shovel the driveway. I did a great job on the 1st of January, but yesterday, with the odd snow showers, the temperatures hovering around zero C., we drove home to terrible conditions. The highway itself was icy. School is out until next week, and traffic was much less than usual.

 This is nothing like the Lake Effect snow that has attacked those south east of the Great Lakes, but the 2 or 3 cm of snow had frozen onto the warm highway.

A neighbour trying to pull into their road.
When they do not slow down,
and pull out onto the other lane,
folks behind do not know that there is an issue.
Drivers are still not using their heads. One guy was tailgating, and I pulled over to let him pass. Death wish, me, not so much. Cars coming towards me were driving uncharacteristically slower than usual. He didn't seem to notice.

Pick a lane! Look around you!
We left Perth for home and, as I drove, I realized there was a bit of a shine on the asphalt.  Being a former math teacher, I put 2 + 2 together, and promptly pulled over and put both my right wheels onto the shoulder of the road. This gave me a bit more traction. I was 500 m from my driveway, praying for safety!

Another dude in a large pick-up truck cruised up behind me, close enough to examine the contents of my trunk. I put on my turn signal to let him know I was turning left, and needed to slow down. He didn't get the message.

As I turned left across the other lane, he loomed, again, in my rear view mirror. I knew I was beginning a slide and honked the horn in sheer frustration. Idiot. He swerved onto the shoulder, narrowly avoiding me. Praise be.

This kind of attitude; that I'm important, and I can pass you unsafely, people on cell phones, that speed limits are just suggestions, is what causes the ridiculous statistics.

I'm not the only one to notice the needless incidents on rural roads:
Central Ontario
Police Reveal Details Into Highway 69 Crash:  on Highway 69, in Muskoka, that killed four and sent three others to hospital.  

And in Eastern Ontario: Why rural roads are deadly
January 04, 2012

by Kelly Egan, Ottawa Citizen
  • Renfrew has 812 kilometres of two-lane roads and 771 are classified rural. 
  • Lanark has 565 kilometres
  • Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry another 982. 
The statistics tell the truth: rural vs. urban, afternoon rush hour (not morning), more males than females.

Ontario Road Safety Statistics Report - 2008

Canada: of 2,187 fatal crashes, 1,450 occurred in rural settings.
Deer on the highway, road kill on our corner was about one per week during the summer.
  • 574 fatal crashes: 381 were in urban areas and 192 in rural ones. 
  • Sunday was the worst day of the week, with 93 fatal crashes, while Thursday was the best (63). 
  • worst hour of the day for fatalities was 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. 
  • Long weekends
  • Males in fatal crashes: 715 to 232 females. 
Persons Injured62,743
Estimated Ontario Population12,932,297
Licensed Drivers9,042,286
Registered Motor Vehicles8,361,021
Estimated Vehicle Kilometres Travelled (in millions)124,673


Red said...

You've really had some nasty weather recently. Arctic air has slid by us and swooped down into Ont.
We have unseasonably high temps. Some records will be set tomorrow. We don't need the high temps.

Powell River Books said...

Even out here in the rain we are having driving problems. I was on the little bus today with Mom riding to rehab. Our driver rear ended a car on the way. Fortunately we were at a stoplight, so none of us were injured. Not sure about the woman in front of us. I saw her get into the ambulance to get checked. Mom took it well. When everything was done, we continued on (using a different bus) to rehab. She is quite the trooper. - Margy

Kay said...

I remember how the weather people would say, "It's just lake effect snow." Ummmm... just? Snow is snow! I hope you don't get too much of it. About 2 inches is wonderful. After that, it's too heavy.