Bad weather is the least of our worries: Sask. drivers' 7 irritating sins

Saskatchewan got a whole lot of weather this week — not that that appears to influence driving habits in the least.
From lane hogging to treating speed limits as suggestions, Saskatchewan drivers are guilty of many poor driving habits, writes Jillian Bell. (LM Otero/Associated Press)

This piece was originally published on Oct. 7, 2018.

My best friend's husband once told me we couldn't drive from Halifax to the Bay of Fundy because "there might be weather."

Saskatchewan got a whole lot of weather this week — not that that appears to influence driving habits in the least.

Snow? You can outrun snow. In fact, the faster you drive, the faster the wind will clear all of that snow off your car, so don't bother buying a snow brush. Waste. Of. Money.

Ice? My tires will save me. I have four of them.

Rain? What's a little hydroplaning between friends?

Low visibility? Running lights are for children. Make it a game of hide and seek.

We know it's not just winter weather that makes driving in Saskatchewan so … exhilarating. The two things that unite the people of this province are painfully long winters and cruddy driving habits.

1. Lane hogging

This is my lane. There are many like it, but this one is mine. No other driver may use my lane.

I must master my lane as I master my life. I will drive faster in the right lane should someone wish to overtake me. I will drive slower in the left lane so no one can get in behind me.

2. Assuming psychic abilities

Every other driver on the road should be able to tell, based on the vibrations you put out into the universe, where it is you intend to go and when you intend to go there.

Signal lights are like toilet paper: you're only meant to use them when nobody else is watching.

3. Treating speed limits as suggestions

Driving is always a race. There is literally never a time when you should drive the speed limit. If we weren't meant to go super fast, why would we even have a statistic like "this car goes from 0 to 100 km/h in less than four seconds?"

The gas pedal goes all the way to the floor mat for a reason: you deserve to be the first person to get to the office/your house/the restaurant/a stoplight. The best way to do this is to shotgun a coffee, a tea, a litre of water and an energy drink before you get in your car so that your bursting bladder encourages you to push your vehicle as close to the speed of light as possible.

4. Abandoning the theory of relativity

Sir Isaac Newton's first law of motion is that an object will remain in motion at a constant velocity if all other external forces cancel each other out. The only place these laws don't exist is when you're driving.

Cruise control is for grannies and whiners. If you're going at a constant velocity, you're losing. The proper way to drive is to speed up and slow down randomly, preferably when there are other drivers in your immediate vicinity.

5. Using a lap buddy

Driving can be a lonely and often dull experience. Dogs provide distraction and entertainment value in the car as well as companionship.

You don't want your dog in the back seat or the passenger seat or the bed of the truck. It's best to hold your dog on your lap where it can pretend to drive, because we all know the one thing a dog finds fulfilling is piloting a 1.8-tonne machine through asphalt mazes.

If you do not have a dog, you may use a cat or a bird. Human companions can be used as lap buddies, but remember to always use protection.

6. Laneterpretation

Art is subjective. Painting is a form of art. How do they get those lines on the road that indicate lanes? They paint them.

Therefore, lanes themselves are a form of artistic impression and every driver should be able to individually interpret what a "lane" is. Feel like driving right down the middle of the road, with the lane markers slipping by directly under the centre of your vehicle? Want to hug that centre line with a tire? You should totally do that.

7. Red light squeaking

When stopped at a red light (or a train or pedestrian crossing), it's good practice to continually inch your vehicle into the intersection rather than remaining at a full stop. This gives you "the edge" over other drivers as soon as you're able to move again. It also ensures you will be Getting There First (see #3).

This driver was going 178 kilometres per hour in a 110 zone. They also pulled over to the left side of the road when they should have pulled to the right. (SPS Traffic Unit/Twitter)

Honourable mention: Distracted driving

Saskatchewan Government Insurance is making a big push against distracting driving in October. CBC Radio's The Morning Edition host Stefani Langenegger asked listeners earlier this month for the worst cases they've seen. The examples are more outlandish than anything I could come up with.

CBC wants to know: what's your driving pet peeve?


This piece is intended as comedy.


Jillian S. Bell

Freelance writer

Jillian Bell is a writer and freelance editor living in the impossibly beautiful Qu'Appelle Valley. She is an avid reader, gamer, textile artist and passable oboeist. Oboer? She plays oboe. Also, the deer eat her garden, so she's also keen on buying produce from local farmers' markets.