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Still think you don’t need winter tires? Think again

Published February 11, 2013

Judging from the chaos on the roads during the big storm on Friday, a lot of people still don’t think they need winter tires.

I was in a big four-wheel drive SUV which only had no-season tires on it (a sharply-worded e-mail is in the works…) and even that got stuck a couple of times.

I know there’s no point in whining to you people (my audience) about all the stupid drivers out there – you know this, and (I hope…) you aren’t among them.

But so many people spinning out, everywhere!


More: The 5 most common winter driving myths

More: Do you really need winter tires in the city?

I heard from one reader that several ramps off the 407 were blocked this morning because drivers who were presumably still doing the usual buck-forty on that road despite the obviously limited traction and visibility found out when they hit the off-ramp that, hmm-mm, my brakes and steering don’t seem to be working as well this morning.

On Highway 25 heading up the Escarpment towards my house, there are two lanes northbound to accommodate the big trucks climbing the hill. But the Jim-Only lane was not being travelled in, hence it was still snow-covered, so only the left lane was clear enough for traffic.

That didn’t stop several cars – a red four-door Jeep Wrangler, a black Ram pick-up and a black Infiniti EX Crossover among those I personally witnessed – from diving out into the on-coming downhill lane to pass me and several other vehicles, including an eighteen-wheeler which was struggling to, literally, make the grade.

Yeah yeah, brave guys – we all got four-wheel drive, too. Remember; mostly what that does is let you have your crash at a higher speed.

Seriously; what is SO important that you have to save four seconds getting home? At the risk of a very serious head-on crash? For which you would be 100 per cent at fault?

The best us sane people can do is to back off, and let them go have their crash with somebody else.

Or a guard rail.

Oh yes, one more thing, one more time – just because your dash lights are on doesn’t mean your taillights are on. With most Daytime Running Lights systems, they aren’t.

So nobody coming from behind can see you. Particularly critical in inclement weather like Friday’s.

Not sure about your car? How about doing a walk-around before leaving home tomorrow morning and find out?

Better still, just develop the proper habit – fire up your car, then fire up your full headlights.

All the lights on, all the time.

Simple.

Safe.

No-brainer…

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