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January 24, 2009


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I had a low speed impact with a Canada Post truck while entering the parking lot at work because of this issue. The big pile of snow created by the front end loader completely obscures the parking lot as you pull in.

Granted I was a little too far left, and so was the CP truck. Only cost me $500 to learn to stay as close to the curb as possible (Nice thing about a Saturn SW1 wagon. Plastic is cheap.)

Same thing happened to another employee last year as well. Ironically, he also drives a Saturn SW1....

But what really scared the bejeebus out of me happened on Friday. I was turning north onto McLaughlin Road in Brampton off of a side street. It's four lanes of traffic plus a turning lane in the middle. Since I was heading northbound as well, and traffic is pretty busy, I was just waiting for an opening and when I got one, I darted into it. After completing my turn, I was staring at a young woman pushing a stroller southbound in my lane. Since the snowbanks were so big, they occupied part of the lane I was in. Didn't leave much room for me to pass this woman.

For the life of me I can't figure out why she was on the road. The sidewalks were plowed by the city and were fairly clear. She's pushing an infant in a stroller down a very busy road after the sun has set, and she's dressed all in black to boot.

I felt like calling children's services after having the s**t scared right of me on that one. I almost killed her kid and her. Maybe I should have made the call. I dunno. I feel a bit like you describe your left turn. I keep thinking I should have seen her in advance and made more effort to look right instead of concentrating on traffic coming from my left. Looking back, I don't know if I could have seen her over the snowbank anyway even if I had done a full visual sweep of the road. But dammit she shouldn't have been on the road!

Jim Kenzie

Hi sjk:

No question she should not have been on the road. I have seen pedestrians on the road when the sidewalks have NOT been plowed, but this scene sounds frankly crazy.

Jim Kenzie

Sean McConnell

Here's how I increase my odds of survival in that situation; 1) Radio OFF, 2) Window open a bit, 3) Proceed slooooowly ready to jam on the brakes the instant I hear an astute motorist tootin' their horn.

No horn? I guess I made it! I hate "trusting" other drivers to do the right thing, but it's better than just launching a "hail-Mary" out into the intersection, hehe.

One more suggestion... Get tall!! At 6', I frequently just open the door and stand up. If the way is clear, I hop back in real quick and go! I'll eventually get my seat belt back on. Oh wait. That's illegal. Ummm.. no officer, I don't do that!!

To me, there is no 100% solution for most of what winter driving has to throw at us. Like I said, it's all about increasing my odds (so far, so good) ;)


Jon Vernon

Until this weekend we faced this kind of visibility problem every time we pulled out of our driveway; large snowbanks completely obscuring the view. The city has obviously been putting effort into removing these obstacles, and this weekend the banks on both sides of our street were taken away to be dumped in the lake.

Jim Kenzie

Hi Jon:

Good news!


BMW's new 7 series (seen on Fifth Gear) has cameras mounted on the front fenders with 2 screens on the inside. That way, you can see what's out there with the nose out a tiny bit...

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