Healthy Living in the North

Tales from the Man Cave: It’s time to slow things down!

Winter road in northern B.C.

It has been a wild winter in northern B.C.! Snow, rain, ice pellets, beautiful sunshine, bitter cold, and more – sometimes in the same week! With so many different conditions changing so quickly, it is important to match your speed to the road conditions! (Picture by Northern Health staff member Shellie O’Brien)

Lately, I’ve noticed that despite the snow and ice we’ve been seeing across the north, people are still driving too fast! It’s time to slow down!

Two years ago on the way to my son’s birthday lunch downtown, I was forced off of the road by two logging trucks. I was behind one of the trucks when the other decided to overtake me on a bend. That truck caused a white-out condition which caused me to lose control and go for a serious spin. I had to write off my van.

Amazingly, the truck drivers were so pressed for time that they never even acknowledged my dilemma and just kept going.

I can tell you that for me and my daughter, this was a very distressing event. I also remember that the slide really felt like it was in slow motion. All we could do was look at each other and pray. Luckily we came to a halt on the centre of the road several metres downhill and walked away from it.

Judging by the speed of the vehicles whizzing past me on icy roads, it seems like we are a people of faith – we really must believe in the ability of our tires to work miracles.

We keep being told to reduce our speed and that speed kills, but no one seems to be listening. Well, perhaps we listen for a week but then it’s rush here and rush there again, with our speed gradually creeping up.

Of course, as the saying goes, I am probably preaching to the choir but sometimes even the choir needs a reminder to stay in tune.

Please keep an eye on your speed to match road conditions. The vehicles in ditches should serve as reminders that the roads are not that good and that our tires may not be the only factor!

Slow down, won’t you! It’s a short life as it is.

Find more winter driving tips at WorkSafeBC.

Jim Coyle

About Jim Coyle

Jim is a tobacco reduction coordinator with the men’s health program, and has a background in psychiatry and care of the elderly. In former times, Jim was director of care at Simon Fraser Lodge and clinical coordinator at the Brain Injury Group. He came to Canada from Glasgow, Scotland 20 years ago and, when not at work, Jim plays in the band Out of Alba and spends time with his family.