Nothing beats being prepared

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Having snow hit later in the winter is heartache for those who love outdoor winter sports. But that pattern also appears to be taking a toll on the streets.

Yet again, as a so-called winter storm bore down on the region Thursday, the reports of collisions and fender benders picked up pace. It would be tempting to add “as usual” to the preceding sentence. But just what is surprising about wintry highway conditions landing in Nova Scotia by the end of December?

People should be prepared long before this point – both in having their vehicles ready and in altering their driving habits according to the weather.

It’s been interesting, but never before have we been offered so much information about winter tires. Articles and radio programs have featured experts discussing the properties of the rubber in winter tires versus all-seasons – and it sure helps to have the relative merits of the two in perspective.

The more aggressive tread of a winter tire – to help a vehicle get through deeper snow – is quite noticeable. But not so apparent – and again, information compliments of the auto experts – is that the rubber for winter tires is softer and helps provide some grip in slippery or slushy conditions.

They’ll also recommend that motorists get their tires changed over as the weather turns colder, that the winter tire will grip better on cold pavement – whereas the harder summer tire would have more tendency to slip on that cold surface even minus the precipitation. So what they’re saying is don’t wait until the snow piles up to make the switch.

But vehicle preparation doesn’t entirely account for any rash of collisions when the snow falls. And we can hardly say we were surprised by Thursday’s weather – it was in the forecast, a system coming at us from a couple of provinces away.

That’s where drivers have to realize that, as essential as the right tires are, slippery conditions mean slowing down, starting out for destinations earlier and not taking risks.

Geographic location: Nova Scotia

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  • Johnny smoke
    December 28, 2012 - 08:10

    Great advice if followed, but it leaves out some glaring deficiencies that are noticed by the traveling public and of course myself.. How can you stop a vehicle in time when the driver in front cannot see your headlights because of following too close? How can you stop in time when upon looking in the rear view mirror you see that person in the car following putting on lipstick or eye shadow ? How can you stop in time when you see mostly but not always half ton trucks with dogs as large a a horse hanging out the drivers side window? How can you stop in time when you observe more an ever now people either talking or texting on their hand held devices, sometimes in plain view of the cops, who do not even appear to notice. Last but not least how come that there is no comprehensive, on going, enforcement of the speed limits on the East River, the Westway, and the Abercrombie speedway's? Just because the noisy Lamborghini has been taken of the road , it has been replaced by dozen's of like vehicles all going to a fire, or their's or someone's fatal end, it is just a matter of time.