Winter can kill. If you are not prepared and get unexpectedly caught out in very cold temperatures, or get wet, hypothermia (the loss of body heat) could be the end of you. People trying to stay warm in a parked car with a faulty exhaust system can suffocate due to carbon monoxide poisoning. Others who have suddenly lost electricity in their home and rig up another source of heat can also suffer the same fate.
While all of those things are scary, the thing that really scares me is winter driving. We live just outside of a small isolated village and driving the 7 km (4 miles) to get there isn’t much of a threat, but having to drive to Prince George, our nearest urban center for medical appointments or supplies certainly is. We have known people who have been killed winter driving to PG.
Highway 16 can be covered with snow, compacted snow, or black ice, which can cause your vehicle to veer from its lane. White-out conditions from a snowstorm or a passing transport truck can disorient you and the fact that everything is covered with snow makes it difficult to distinguish where the road it. Moose or deer can suddenly appear in front of you.
Driving to Prince George in the winter is a scary and potential life-ending endeavor and we don’t make the decision to do so without a lot of forethought, and a close look at the weather forecast.
A few days ago a man traveling from McBride to Prince George was extremely lucky to escape with his life after being hit head-on by a snowplow. Amazingly his dashcam recorded the incident. Here is the story and video:
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