We aren’t that bad

Oh, Calgary.

We have a bit of a complex, don’t we?

We’re shamed regularly, whether it’s on Twitter or in the news.

We don’t use our signal lights. We do rolling stops at stop signs. We speed like our lives depend on shaving 30 seconds of our ETA.

We can’t let go of our mobiles, despite our nanny government trying to save us from ourselves with the Distracted Driving Law enacted in Summer 2011.

For some, surviving the Deerfoot at rush hour is a daily objective.

We are terrible drivers.

We know it.

A study released last week proves it.

Only British Columbians are worse than us … except when it comes to littering, that is. (Tsk tsk, Calgary.)

With tailgating, turning without signaling, and cutting into lanes without notice, it seems many Albertans are getting failing grades in those areas as well.

Eighty-two per cent of survey respondents have witnessed tailgating, surpassing the national average of 77 per cent. Eighty-four per cent saw drivers turn without signaling, compared to 82 per cent across Canada. And 82 per cent of Albertan respondents saw drivers cut into another lane without notice, compared to 67 per cent nationwide.

Oy. We’re downright nasty to each other when we get behind the wheel.

However, my recent road trip enlightened me.

We aren’t that bad.

No, really. I just said that.

For someone who grouses on Twitter about the way y’all drive? For someone whose boyfriend thinks she’s the most terrible driver he’s ever seen and yet somehow not as bad as some of the people he’s encountered on the Deerfoot?

I. Just. Said. That.

Let’s not even consider the crazy Quebecers and the way they weave and wobble through Montreal freeway traffic at 150 km/h.


There’s something far scary than that.

Far more terrifying than the Deerfoot.

Such that it intimidated me into driving the speed limit with my hands at 10 and 2 on the steering wheel.

It’s the I-90.

Now mind you, the speed limit on the longest interstate highway in the U.S. is often 70 miles per hour (about 120 km/h) so it’s even a treat to limit myself at that.

And you occasionally have to slow down a little bit to fit into the toll booth lanes and fork over your first born in bits and pieces, maybe fingers and toes.

But if you don’t pay attention and you’re in the passing lane, trying to overtake a truck with a fifth-wheel or some gramma doing only 65, you might want to take a look in the rearview mirror.

As sure as the sun rises, there’s someone on your tail. I don’t mean Deerfoot tailgating … I mean this guy is so far up your tailpipe that he knows exactly what you had for breakfast and lunch.

And you have to get out of his way.

I’m not sure I know what would happen if you don’t.

I’m not sure I want to find out.

I’m sure I made every attempt to ensure I didn’t find out.

But one thing I know for sure, the Deerfoot is a cakewalk once you’ve been on the I-90.

Try it some time.

I dare you.


  1. I drove I-90 in the truck pulling a fifth-wheel back in May. For those into adrenaline inducing activities it certainly can be “fun”.

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