A couple of days ago, at the first appreciable snowfall in the GTA, here we are thinking about driving in winter again.
Lets qualify this, in the GTA (Greater Toronto Area) a snowfall of 10 cm turns into a major news event, while the snow becomes apocalyptical...or close. In other parts of Canada, snow, cold, being ready for winter is perfectly normal. Yes...10 cm is not enough snow to even talk about it.
It usually starts the day before, with the habitual warnings of incoming snow, colder weather, wind chill, and it gains momentum as the snow gets closer.
In the meantime the more motorists are advised and warned of incoming snow, the more AWD vehicles are sold every year, the more disconnected its getting. Its winter, its cold, its snow, its Canada, its normal.
Here is the deal:
Most folks seem to forget that its not the vehicle that has an understanding of the medium that its operating in, its the driver that increasingly must manage the capabilities of the vehicle. We reiterate, the driver must manage.
Vehicles are bristling with technology, they can literally control their speed, stop by themselves, however vehicles have no conception or understanding of the prevailing conditions, and what they are driving on. The challenge is that even with all the warnings, most folks remain oblivious to driving conditions, and managing their driving accordingly.
It gets even more interesting when municipalities wait for a specific snowfall prior to clearing the streets. Think about this, if more AWD vehicles are sold, or what looks like all wheel drive vehicles, perhaps it encourages municipalities to clear snow later.
It seems that most folks lose sight that an element of friction is required between the vehicle and the surface its operating on the enable all the technology to function correctly.
Perhaps many folks remain oblivious to understanding, to subsequently be in a position manage the vehicle and their driving in winter. The laws of physics have not changed, a vehicle requires a coefficient of friction between the tires and the surface to be able to steer, stop, and accelerate.
The driver manages the interface between the vehicle and the prevailing conditions, and surface, not the vehicle, not the technology, the driver manages.