15 January 2011

Snowy Days in The Land of Tim Hortons

The Land of Tim Hortons had 15 cm  of snow a couple days ago, and overnight there was another 5 cm and it's still snowing as I type.  I had mixed feelings about heading out this morning, but most of all I was looking forward to it because it had been a while since I'd driven my R32 in significant snow conditions.

Random observations and/or rants after returning from my snowy foray:

  • The same truck made me cringe twice, today, and I'm not talking about a pick-up truck.  It was more similar to a mid-sized fire truck size, and wider, to boot.  The first cringe occurred when he changed lanes to my direct right -- the sudden impact of his snow splatter hitting the R's side was very irritating.  The second cringe happened when he immediately turned on his left turn signal, indicating he wanted to make the same left turn I did.  The fact that he wanted to turn per se wasn't what made me cringe, it was the fact that the truck left it so late that he didn't leave me any safe options to get out of his way. Oh yeah, and the itty bitty  fact that I was in a dinky little hatchback facing up against a monster metal box on wheels was quite cringe-inducing, too.  Anywhoo, to cut this short, I made a safe, legal left turn, and the truck made an illegal one.  All's well that ends well.  I guess.
  • Thumbs down to the pedestrian who tried to cross a major intersection against the lights with approaching traffic.  A bad proposition at any time, but a snowy, slushy road isn't the best time to be in a hurry.  You might slip.  Which that pedestrian did.
  • The same Impreza fish-tailed twice making two different left turns.  The first left turn was from a parking lot.  Traffic was extremely light, so I don't know why he/she didn't wait for a larger gap so that he had time to take it slower, and safer.  The second left turn and fish-tail was at a traffic light.  This time there was no approaching traffic at all so I really don't know why the Impreza didn't take it more slowly, especially as this happened only a minute after the first.  Perhaps a really short term memory.  I hope the Impreza wasn't misled by how relatively quickly I made the turn -- I was trying to stay sufficiently ahead of (i.e. away from) him.  Anywhoo, I made doubly sure to stay well away from this particular Impreza.
  • I liked how on the highway slower traffic kept left, and drivers generally were traveling at slower speeds than normal.  Still, I'm not sure how helpful this would have been given how closely most drivers were still following one another.  If you need to stop suddenly the best brakes and winter tires in the world won't help much if you lose traction on the snow.