It’s a Canada-wide stereotype: British Columbians are terrible winter drivers.
Apparently, locals agree.
At least according to a new Insights West poll which found 52% of us admitted we’re the worst behind the wheel in Canada come the cold season.
Stu Miller, senior manager of automotive operations with BCAA, which commissioned the survey, says there were some other worrying findings too.
“One-third actually say that they are ‘freaking out’ as they’re driving through winter conditions,” he said.
“The thing that surprised me the most was 45% of us are actually nervous about driving in winter conditions. They do it anyway, 71% of them don’t prepare at all. Which is scary. It’s completely scary.”
A third of respondents said they don’t prepare for winter driving because they’re skilled enough not to, while another third said they don’t bother until there’s snow on the ground, with the final third saying they don’t actually expect a bad winter.
Miller says that overconfidence is one of the reasons things can get hairy on the road once conditions do worsen. He says our less snowy winters are another part of the equation, prompting people to forget to look ahead.
But he says even without snow, low light and wet roads can be extremely dangerous.
“Our winter conditions here are nowhere near as severe as say Toronto, or say Edmonton. The problem is we just don’t prepare for them,” he says.
Miller says there’s a simple solution: planning ahead.
He says drivers can ease their nerves with a few simple upgrades to their vehicle, like snow tires and fresh wipers.
And he says there’s no substitute for thinking ahead, including knowing your route and keeping a sharp eye on the weather forecast.