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Discussion in 'Canada' started by sly_karma, Dec 21, 2011.
By the time I have realised I am at a 4 way stop I have lost the chance to notice who arrived first.
bit tricky when the car in front of me aint goin any faster
I miss the 4 way stop rule and turning right against the lights - both make so much sense and when the power goes out and traffic lights go down, there's no carnage at the intersection - everyone just reverts to the 4 way stop rule. Very sensible.
Flashing lights in a school zone or school bus unloading !!! follow the rules to the letter. Done if you don't.
In BC the tyres/chains rule is in force Oct 1 to Apr 30.
Winter Tire Information
Where and when are winter tires required?
Winter tires or chains are required on most routes in British Columbia from October 1 to March 31. For select highways, including mountain passes and rural routes in high snowfall areas, the date will be extended until April 30 to account for early-spring snowfall.
For a province-wide map of highways designated for winter tires, go to: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/...inter-driving/winter-tire-and-chain-up-routes
Why winter tires?
An investment in appropriate tires represents an investment in safety — your personal safety, the safety of your family and friends and the safety of others sharing the road.
The tire industry indicates winter tires with the 3-peaked mountain and snowflake symbol outperform Mud and Snow (M+S) tires at temperatures of 7°C or lower. As well, the grooves in winter tires are about 30 per cent deeper than all-season tires, so they grip the road more effectively, improving your ability to stop on snow and ice.
Check the wear of your winter tires before installing and monitor tire pressure often as it can drop in cold weather.
What is the legal requirement for winter tires?
Both the all-season Mud and Snow (M+S) tires and the 3-peaked mountain/snowflake tires meet the legal requirements for winter tire designation in B.C. In all cases, a winter tire must be in good condition, with a minimum tread depth of 3.5 mm (5/32”).
Tires with a 3-peaked mountain and snowflake symbol offer the best traction on snow, ice, and in cold weather. They provide good winter driving performance, especially in harsh winter conditions.
All-season tires with the M+S (Mud and Snow) symbol offer better traction than summer tires and meet the minimum legal requirement for a winter tire. But, in severe winter conditions, they are less effective than the 3-peaked mountain and snowflake tires.
Summer tires are not recommended for driving between October 1 and March 31 and chains on summer tires are not an acceptable substitute for legal winter tires on signed B.C. highways.
Use four matched winter tires
Make sure that all four winter tires are evenly matched in size, tread type and depth; however – you must have at least two matching winter tires on the primary drive axle even when driving a 4X4 vehicle. If you use different types of tires, it compromises stability and could cause your vehicle to fishtail.
Stopping distances in winter weather
Rain, slush, snow, ice and cold temperatures are all part of winter driving. Stopping your passenger vehicle in these conditions can be challenging, as your tires have less traction on cold and often slippery road surfaces. Learn more
Chains and other traction devices
Passenger vehicles may use alternative traction devices such as chains with their winter tires. Before using these devices, test them for performance in winter conditions.
If you operate a commercial vehicle and travel outside the Greater Vancouver and Greater Victoria areas, you are required to carry tire chains (or other suitable traction devices) and comply with road signage and all traffic laws. Carriers must take steps to ensure their drivers are prepared for winter conditions and know when and how to safely and properly install chains or other approved traction devices.
Enforcement of winter tires and chains
While winter tires are not mandatory province-wide, they are required on a majority of B.C. highways. Drivers without the proper winter tires in good condition driving on designated B.C. highways can receive a fine of $109.
Find more details about the Government of BC’s winter tire and chain requirements:
That road gives me the heebies, not the highway itself but the huge traffic load it carries. One more reason to avoid Whistler in winter.
Picked up a Chev Arcadia (should be a Tahoe) yesterday in Vancouver, with M&S tyres. I was very underwhelmed by the tread pattern. Compound seems ok, but they look like Summer tyres based on tread alone, taking it easy and no problems experienced over the Coq etc, hopefully stays that way. 90+% of cars in Kamloops have proper winter boots fitted.
Certainly not confidence inspiring when the locals have the right gear.
We rented a Hyundai Santa Fe in Calgary last year and it came with All Season tyres that the rep tried to pass off as the same as M&S.
We were at KH snowed in, highway shut to the East and Rogers Pass obviously shut too. Took 8 hours to clear Rogers Pass with us trapped in Golden missing the best day of skiing.
Driving over Rogers Pass in the dark to Revvie was treacherous and not something I’d ever like to do again. All along the road was evidence of avalanches and loads of tree debris. A real eye opener. A stiff drink was had when we got to Revelstoke.
A few years back on a different trip my bro and I headed north from Lake Louise to Jasper on Highway 93. The most stunning drive. But on the way back in clear conditions we hit an ice patch and skidded off the road and into a deep snow drift. A frozen lake was to our left.
We were well under the speed limit and got pulled out by 2 passers by vehicles tied behind each other. My brother has since fitted studded tyres to his truck for winter and promised never to drive that road in winter ever again.
I attached a few photos. All photos were taken the same day and show the conditions we slid off in. We both learnt a lot that day, could easily have ended up dead.
Over lthe last two weeks we've driven from Sun Peaks right throught to Calgary and then back again, both times through Revie and had some really bad conditions and seen a few crashed vehicles.
The worst was dumping snow near Lake Louise and we ended up going off the main highway off an exit that we didnt intend to, so that was enough for us to turn back.
I've just purchased myself a pair of yellow lens sunglasses (as recommended by my ophthalmologist) and that makes driving in the flat light conditions a whole lot better
Good for you for deciding to get off the road on a bad day. Far too many people doggedly insist on carrying on even when the trip isn't really essential. As well as removing yourself from a risky situation, you also get out of the way of the poor buggers who don't have much choice but to make the trip - truck drivers, emergency services, etc. Lots of extra space and time needed on days like that, very hard to achieve unless there are a lot fewer vehicles out there.
So just got back from a 2 week trip and timed it perfectly for the driving. Last day (26th Jan) we drove Revelstoke- Calgary. Rogers Pass was sunny with only a minimum of slush and virtually no traffic. From LL to Calgary the road was entirely clear and dry with both lanes open. +11 degrees in Calgary when we arrived with people getting around in shorts and T-shirts. Did not see snow on the ground between Calgary and Canmore other than little remnants in ditches. Strange days...
yup we saw locals in Vernon driving with the tops down on their cars at 5C and full sunshine ... bloody strange Canadians !!
Was -25 with windchill today in the Okanagan. Is that better?
Just back from 2 and a half weeks in Canada with some info. We hired a "Standard SUV - Grand Cherokee or similar" from Budget at Calgary airport and there wasn't any real way to contact them to ask for winter tyres. When we got to the counter, we told them we were going to BC ski resorts so would need appropriate tyres and they offered us an "upgrade" to something with winter tyres. She ended up charging extra for a different class of car ($5 /day) and a winter tyre surcharge ($5 /day), but giving us the extra driver for free ($10 /day) so it averaged out to no change. We ended up with a fully loaded Dodge Durango which was a lovely way to get around and thank the lord for the tyres! The sheet ice around -25c Banff was terrifying. We hit Banff, Golden, Revelstoke and Nelson and had some lovely drives and some less lovely ones.
They had a hire-car scam I hadn't seen though - they told us that they charge fuel at a lower rate than a petrol station (94c vs. 104c a litre) and you can just bring the car back without filling it up. We didn't really understand and it turned out I initialled to say I agree as it didn't sound like I was being offered anything at the time. The trick is that they charge you for a full tank up front and then you have to bring it back as close to empty to get your money's worth. We ended up with only 40km of range when we brought it back so I think we did OK.
Praise the lord I don't have to drive in Vancouver or Victoria this week. Huge snowfalls by any standards, over 50 cm in Victoria. Any city is a mess in even 5 cm of snow, plus those cities have a population with little experience in winter driving, cars mostly unequipped for it, and only a small force of snow clearing equipment. Minor streets and back lanes will be close to impassable for weeks.
looks like we hired on a similar contract for the cherokee or similar from budget (at Vancouver airport - we got a Kia Sorrento with M&S tyres. They offered us an upgrade for $30/day extra which would have been an extra $1700+GST, so stuck with the Kia (bad choice!)
The M&S tyres were fine and we did 4,000kms on them from Vancouver to Calgary and return, visiting 7 different ski resorts.
I think the M&S are good enough that I wouldnt pay for an upgrade.
The pre-fuel isnt a scam, you just need to plan your refueling and return close to empty, and it's convenient on the last day if you dont have to find a station before you drop it off
What was the problem with the Kia?
I’m probably setting my expectations too high after the Audi
the steering felt like it was connected to the wheels by some old lacky bands, and there was zero feedback
it wandered easily on flat clear roads so that I constantly had to correct it,
Brakes were very snatchy
And stupid things like, if you turned off the ignition with first putting it into Park, you would get a loud watning beep, but if you moved it to park? The beeping wouldnt stop and you had to start and stop the engine to stop the beeping
My friend picked up a GMC in the same classification/daily rate and I also drove that and it had more features and was much more pleasant to drive
We are thinking about hiring a car and driving from Kelwona to Silverstar then onto Rossland/Red Mountain or the other way around. Other then your typical wintery conditions is that drive ok, or can it be hazardous like the Coquihalla highway?
Your drive from Kelowna wiuld be 55 minutes whereas if you drive from Kamloops its 1hr55m so consider both and see what sort of deals you can get for airfares and car hire
Not going peak time, probably mid to late Feb so I'm more considering the drive and conditions, we want the flexibility and freedom of hitting the road.
Haven't done Kelowna to Silver Star but have done Kelowna to Rossland and Kelowna to Vernon many many times and I'd say barring atrocious weather it's a pretty friendly drive and you shouldn't have any trouble.
The Okanagan has seen heavy snowfalls this week down in the valley, and the week before was disrupted by a major rock slide that closed highway 97 about 40 minutes south of Kelowna. The available detours were almost 4 hours on paved roads or about 90 minutes via logging roads. Both these situations highlight the prime rule about winter driving: get off the road unless really necessary. Although Mrs Sly and I both deferred nonessential trips to Kelowna, there was much complaining among friends and acquaintances about the 'terrible road conditions' despite their trips being for frivolous crap like shopping at Costco, watching a niece in a hockey game, etc etc.
Most people know that you need more room around you when conditions are slippery, because of greater stopping distances and so on. But how does anyone get the room they need if the traffic load is same as always? Everything is harder when it snows: parking, walking to your destination, streets and lanes become narrower because of snow pushed aside by clearing equipment. The best thing we can do to help alleviate these problems is to stay off the streets and roads and let crews do their work. Even going to work isn't always essential, just staying home for a few hours and going in late woukd make a big difference if a lot of people did it.
But no, everybody pretends it's someone else's problem and hits the road as usual. The scared people drive extra scared and the yahoos drive like they always do, but with snow. And all of them complain about the roads yet never consider that they might just be part of the problem.
The yahoos are easy to spot - they typically drive the big black F350 pickup trucks, often adorned with a snow mobile
With Alberta plates
all the Canadians I was talking to last week were "OMG - it's a nightmare, blah, blah, blah"
All the expat Aussies were sending me photos - "It's so beautiful, there's sooo much snow everywhere and people are skiing down the streets at your old house, blah, blah, blah"
It's all about perspective, isn't it?
My perspective was "oh fark no, not this week, I have mega deliveries coming this week. I have to get 18 wheeler semi trailers into job sites with materials that are already behind schedule." We made mighty efforts to get driveways and vineyard roads clear enough to get trucks in but it was sketchy AF and cost me another few million stress cells. Happy to say no one got hurt except a few vineyard posts. And now the skiing is way better!
Whilst out n about in B.C. I noticed the octane level offered at every petrol station we went to is lower than Oz. In Canada 87, 89 and 91 octane is sold. In Oz it's 91, 93 and 95. Does anyone know why this is the case??
its the same stuff, just measured differently
all I know is that, since I knew I was only keeping my brand new Ford Explorer for two years then handing it back, 87 was the best that machine was ever going to get. Never missed a beat.
Research Octane Number (RON)
The most common type of octane rating worldwide is the Research Octane Number (RON). RON is determined by running the fuel in a test engine with a variable compression ratio under controlled conditions, and comparing the results with those for mixtures of iso-octane and n-heptane.
Motor Octane Number (MON)
Another type of octane rating, called Motor Octane Number (MON), is determined at 900 rpm engine speed instead of the 600 rpm for RON. MON testing uses a similar test engine to that used in RON testing, but with a preheated fuel mixture, higher engine speed, and variable ignition timing to further stress the fuel's knock resistance. Depending on the composition of the fuel, the MON of a modern pump gasoline will be about 8 to 12 octane lower than the RON, but there is no direct link between RON and MON. Pump gasoline specifications typically require both a minimum RON and a minimum MON.
Anti-Knock Index (AKI) or (R+M)/2
In most countries in Europe (also in Australia, Pakistan and New Zealand) the "headline" octane rating shown on the pump is the RON, but in Canada, the United States, Brazil, and some other countries, the headline number is the average of the RON and the MON, called the Anti-Knock Index (AKI), and often written on pumps as (R+M)/2. It may also sometimes be called the Posted Octane Number (PON).
Difference between RON, MON, and AKI
Because of the 8 to 12 octane number difference between RON and MON noted above, the AKI shown in Canada and the United States is 4 to 6 octane numbers lower than elsewhere in the world for the same fuel. This difference between RON and MON is known as the fuel's Sensitivity, and is not typically published for those countries that use the Anti-Knock Index labelling system.
Thanks Sly, I didn't think to check wiki
I guess I could've used that in my Facts about Canada thread. Didn't realise myself that there were different ways to measure octane level.
That’s what I posted, 2 posts earlier
Has anyone had any luck booking a full size SUV from economycarrentals.com it seems they only have mid size??
As they are only an agent, its really just hit and miss with them - keep trying.
We scored a 10 seater Chev Suburban including CDW through them the first time we went.
However, on more recent trips, we have noted that they dont seem to include the CDW on the large SUVs.
I've found www.airportrentals.com has been offering tsome good deals in the last week or so, and they tend to include CDW
Can I ask is it really a bad drive to take the Icefield parkway in winter? We will be a travelling family kids aged 10 and 12 and spending s white Christmas around Banff/lake Louise. I’ve heard the parkway is one of the most scenic drives( in summer and even winter) and are considering heading up to jasper for a few nights to tick it off he bucket list ( and add a marmot sticker to the snowboards). However everywhere I read it’s not recommended unless a local or experienced. The only other option for us is taking a shuttle with sun dogs but I know they won’t stop for me to capture some photos of the epic scenery. Once in jasper we would re hire a car and do some stuff ( and possibly get so see some more scenic stuff). I can’t say we often drive in the snow other than up a few Aussie fields. Have also driven around Niseko and between Niseko and Rusutsu but roads were well cleared and sun was shining so the weather was being kind
Thanks for the advice
What you are asking for is a weather forecast for specific days 10 months in advance.
No I’m not asking for a weather forecast I’m not that stupid. I’m asking if someone has done this road in winter and their thoughts on how hard it is. Especially coming from Aus where we don’t really drive in snowy conditions
people on TripAdvisor Talk about it being terrible but I am just wondering is it that bad. We can be flexible with days too so we don’t have to go on a specific day but just wondering if it’s going to basically be like driving 20km on an ice rink the whole way
We were that way in January and the road was closed for 2 days, so if you want to go that way, dont have a tight schedule
@chunky has some good memories of that route
Driving in Canada, anywhere, in winter depends on the weather.
He is exactly correct. The icefields parkway can be driven in winter if conditions are good. No one can possibly say now if those good conditions will be there for your proposed trip day/s.
Even in good weather, you will find almost all stopping places and turnoffs difficult to use or unusable because of snow accumulation. There are almost zero services of any kind in the 200+km, you must carry ample fuel and enough warm clothing to survive several hours in the event of an incident.
There is only one outlet road in the length of the parkway so a road incident could cause a lengthy wait or a complete turnaround or multi hour detour. The views can be gorgeous and almost never ending, but mountain weather can change quickly and you might find yourself deprived of most of the scenery. Or it might start snowing heavily and you'll be focused on the few metres of road ahead that you can see. Who knows.
If you get the classic midwinter high pressure system that brings out the sun and plunges the mercury downward, by all means go for it. It will be dazzlingly beautiful and chillingly cold but easy driving on the dry grippy snow. Just check the online road conditions very carefully before you leave - with a full tank.
It is a great drive. Just be careful and check in at the ranger's office as well. All well and good to hear their views on it as well.
And it can change very quickly and at the drop of a hat.
The very next day -
Don't think you could sum it up better than those two pictures. Check the weather - you need to get lucky and hope for a window. It's not a route you can plan on taking on a certain day