EDITORIAL: Prepare for winter

It took awhile, but winter finally arrived, albeit just for a week.

It took awhile, but winter finally arrived, albeit just for a week. That white stuff that fell from the sky and turned the roads to a slippery mess serves as a reminder that Lotus Land is still a part of Canada, the great white north.

And with its arrival came the usual lineups at garages as drivers hustled to get snow tires installed so they could navigate the area’s hills and highways.

The last two winters have been relatively kind to local drivers. Annual winter snowfall has decreased generally over the past 20 years.

That’s a long way from the winters of 2006 and 2008 when the Lower Mainland was repeatedly hammered by storms.

The winter weather can indeed be fickle and unpredictable.

And still we continue to gamble we won’t need to bear the expense of installing snow tires,  getting the car tuned up for winter driving, tucking an ice scraper under the front seat, topping up the windshield washer reservoir, or even having proper winter boots and clothing along in case the car gets stuck, and walking becomes mandatory.

Those drivers in seasonal denial aren’t hard to spot. They’re the ones with the death grip on their steering wheel, peering through the tiny patch of windshield they bothered to clear with a handy credit card, sliding around in even a light snowfall.

It would be funny, if it weren’t so dangerous.

West Coast drivers aren’t the best winter drivers because we don’t get much practice at it. We need all the help we can get. That means getting those snow tires installed, keeping those fluids topped up, clearing the snow and ice off all the windows, and taking it easy in dark, slippery conditions.

Winter’s here. Be prepared. Stay safe.

– Black Press