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Are B.C. drivers the worst in Canada? They’ll admit they don’t like snow

Scenes from a road trip from Nanaimo on Vancouver Island’s east coast to Ucuelet on the west coast via Port Alberni, B.C.
Scenes from a road trip from Nanaimo on Vancouver Island’s east coast to Ucuelet on the west coast via Port Alberni, B.C.

More than half of British Columbia residents admit they are Canada’s worst drivers in winter, but that won’t keep them off the road when it snows, according to a new poll.

And 79 percent say it’s other motorists who are the problem.

The online poll commissioned by the B.C. Automobile Association surveyed B.C. motorists on their winter weather readiness. About 47 percent say they’re nervous about driving in snow but drive anyway – one-third admit to “freaking out a bit” – and 45 percent say they’re experienced drivers but bad at driving in wintry conditions, according to result by pollsters Insights West.

More than 60 percent said they wouldn’t stay off the road when it snows, and less than half check weather or road conditions before heading out.

“Call it overconfidence or denial but, based on our data and in my experience, too many British Columbians, especially in the Lower Mainland, don’t think about winter driving until it’s too late,” BCAA spokesman Stu Miller said in a news release. “Winter weather can create unpredictable road conditions anywhere and at any time, which can turn out to be challenging for even the most experienced driver.”

More than 70 percent of B.C. drivers said they’re not concerned about winter driving because they believe it “doesn’t snow much where they live.” But Miller pointed out other winter driving challenges – heavy rainfall, icy roads, sleet and longer hours of darkness – can also cause problems for drivers.

The poll was taken online Oct. 28-30 by 728 adults.

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