Side roads were still snow-covered Saturday late morning while the main highways were wet.

Editorial: Winter is coming, ready or not

Make sure you are adjusting your road habits for weather conditions

The first Vancouver Island snowfall of the season earlier this month wasn’t very widespread, and didn’t last too long.

But isn’t just a taste of what might be coming.

It’s also a reminder that driving habits need to adjust with the changing of the season (although, officially, winter doesn’t start until Dec. 21).

In addition to good winter tires, other essentials for winter driving include a snow brush/scraper, extra time and space, as well as a little patience.

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Let’s start with the snow brush. Have you ever seen those videos showing sheets of ice flying off of one vehicle and into the windshield of another? A bit extreme, maybe, but clearly not impossible. Having a good 360-degree view is key. The ability to see as far as possible will help to ensure you have enough time to cross a tricky intersection (ie. 10th Ave. SE and Highway 97B)

Speaking of time, and space, imagine the physical distancing measures put in place by health professionals, but instead of metres, use seconds.

The “Shift into Winter” program suggest four seconds between vehicles. To do this, pick something, such as a sign, and count how long it takes you to reach that sign after the car in front of you has. Less than four seconds? Give that vehicle its space.

Finally, patience. You know they always say, “Patience is a virtue,” although that always seems to just create more impatience.

We all know that a good 4×4 SUV or pickup with a great set of tires, and even some chains, can make it feel like one can scale mountains, especially when the person in front of you may be having a tiny problem getting their four-door sedan up one of numerous hills around town.

But allowing some patience for others, while also giving yourself some extra time for your travels, can make a world of difference and help to keep all stress levels down.

Remember, everyone is trying to get somewhere, and everyone wants to get there safely.

Drive safe out there.

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