There is one universal truth when it comes to a Canadian winter: though it happens each year, with bone-chilling regularity, we’re always somehow surprised when it arrives. If you’re looking for traits to bind us – from British Columbia to Newfoundland – look no further than our capacity to complain about the weather during every one of our four seasons and our collective astonishment each November when temperatures plummet and snow falls.
This reality finds sublime expression on our roads and highways. Don’t be one of those drivers who recklessly swerve and speed on icy roads. Take the Road Sage Winter Driving Quiz and face the awful, frozen, desolate, dark, icy, frigid, Dante’s-Ninth-Circle-level five-month stretch we call “winter” with a ready smile.
11) The media reports a weather warning. There are dangerous conditions on the roads and people are told not to drive unless absolutely necessary. You…
A. Drive to work. After all, the roads will be empty, so you’ll be safe.
B. Stay home but drive the kids three blocks to school.
C. Drive to a bar. If you get in an accident on the way home the snowbanks will act as a cushion.
2There was a heavy snowfall overnight. Your car is covered and resembles a giant four-wheeled wedding cake. How much snow do you need to clear?
A. The driver’s half of the windshield and the side mirror.
B. Clear the entire windshield and a hand swipe across the rear windshield.
C. Hand-swipe the entire car. Put on defrost. Wait 10 minutes.
D. Carefully clear all windows and mirrors.
E. No manual clearing – just run wipers vigorously. Squirt windshield cleaner every 30 seconds until defroster kicks in.
3Which of these winter driving tips is true?
A. Just as vaccines are a conspiracy orchestrated by the Illuminati to prevent people from having the natural experience of contracting organic diseases such as polio, diphtheria, and tetanus, winter tires are a conspiracy created by “Big Safety” to prevent drivers from having the opportunity to know what it’s like to die or be maimed in an otherwise preventable winter car crash.
B. Four-wheel drive is a cloak of invincibility that allows drivers to defeat all weather conditions.
C. You can keep your fuel line from freezing by adding fuel line anti-freeze when you fill the tank.
4Which of these winter driving tips is false?
A. The safest strategy is to avoid driving in bad weather conditions. If you must drive, however, check weather and travel conditions before heading out. Then, once you have on your coat and boots and keys in hand, look in the mirror and realize that you’re really not that important. In fact, whatever it is that you have to drive to can wait. Take off coat and remove boots. Place keys in a dish. Watch Netflix.
B. Once you have your winter tires on, you can drive as fast as you like.
C. When temperatures go below zero degrees Celsius, bridges and overpasses freeze first.
5What’s the best way to free your vehicle when it’s stuck in hard-packed snow?
A. Scatter that five-pound bag of kitty litter you keep in the truck all around your car’s front tires. Meeeeoooow! You’re on the road again!
B. Step on the gas pedal as hard as you can until your car burrows down into the ice. Turn off ignition. Call tow truck.
C. Rock back and forth gently. With each “rock” you should increase your distance travelled until you are out.
D. Wonder why you parked your car there. Wait for spring.
6Is the first storm of the season the most dangerous?
A. Yes. Drivers aren’t used to winter conditions.
B. Yes. Until the next storm of the winter season - the only difference being that drivers no longer have any excuse for their terrible driving.
7The slogan “Ice and Snow – Take it Slow” means…
A. Don’t be alarmed by ice and snow. Gradually come to grips with them.
B. It’s an imperative order directed to the elements. As in, “Hey Ice! Hey Snow! Ease up! Don’t descend upon us so swiftly. Take it slow!”
C. Refers to the recipe for the cocktail “Ice and Snow” created by Aaron Polsky. (1 oz Absinthe .5 oz Aquavit .75 oz Lime Juice .5 oz Apricot Brandy .5 oz Simple Syrup 1 dash Orange Bitters. Pour all ingredients into shaker with ice then shake and strain into a coupe glass. Garnish with star anise pod.) This is a potent cocktail and should be savoured slowly. Absolutely no driving afterward.
D. Slow down when there is ice and snow.
8Are winter driving schools and courses worth the money?
A. Yes, but only if you prioritize being able to drive safely during the six months we call winter. A little training and preparation could save your life or mine. In fact, I’m not sure why they aren’t mandatory. Weird.