There is no doubt that the cold spell in Edmonton has created catastrophic road conditions. From freezing rain, to blizzards, to black ice, a simple commute to work has become a battle on a skating rink. I often catch my car sliding on the uncleared roads downtown and find myself wondering why on earth
I didn’t just pay for an Uber. Although these icy roads may lead to slower driving in the winter, I also find myself being tailgated and cut off by aggressive drivers more often than not, which makes me wonder — why does Edmonton have such terrible drivers? There are many instances where accidents can be avoided, and a big factor could be reducing road rage.
According to a 2021 article from CTV, “of 1,522 Canadians who participated (in a survey), 97 per cent of Alberta drivers admitted to aggressive and road-rage like behaviour when behind the wheel.” We’ve seen it all before, the aggressive passing on the Anthony Henday, being cut off at a left turn, or tailgating. Some Edmonton drivers just don’t understand that the roads are meant to be shared, and so I have curated a few tips for our aggressive Edmonton drivers.
First, slow down. I get it — you’re late for work, and rush hour starts right before work or class, but if you are tailgating cars on the highway and aggressively passing them going almost 30 km above the speed limit on the roads in icy conditions, not only does it put others at risk, but it also might get you a hefty speeding ticket. This comment is specifically for those constantly driving 20 to 30 km over the speed limit, because we all know that 10 km over the limit is the norm on the Anthony Henday anyway
Second, don’t cut everyone off. This tip is for the individuals who are on their phone and look up to see their exit is three lanes away. Don’t try to pull a fast and furious trick and weave your way through traffic, simply take the next exit. I have seen drivers try to sneak their way to a turning lane while simultaneously cutting off five cars — don’t be that person. Let’s face the facts. The next exit is your safest bet to avoid a fender bender.
Next, always avoid texting and driving. Not only is it dangerous, but if you’re caught, a texting and driving ticket will cost you $287 according to the Edmonton Police Service website.
Finally, be courteous when parking. If you think parking your car in the middle of two stalls to prevent someone else from parking close to you is the right decision, you’re wrong. Especially downtown, where parking is limited, and everyone wants a spot closest to the school, try to park your car in a single stall and be courteous of others.
Social media highlights some of Edmonton’s worst drivers. There is an Instagram account with the handle @Edmonton_Baddrivers and a website called Bad Edmonton Drivers where individuals share some of their own experiences with reckless vehicles on the road.
To conclude, if you are having a bit of road rage, try to be courteous of others on the road, don’t cut off other cars, and stay off your phone. Every city has terrible drivers, that’s inevitable, but if some Edmontonians refrained from aggressive driving, the roads would be a much safer place.
Image credits: Brett Boyd
Get out of the left lane