Fear not winter driving; it’s summer driving that kills

‘Tis the season for incessant, overwrought weather “advisories,” “statements,” “alerts,” and “warnings” from Environment Canada; exaggerated accounts thereof from broadcast media (especially the CBC); and dire exhortations from the RCMP to stay home, preferably in bed with the covers drawn up, until winter passes and it is safe once again to get behind the wheel.

Except that December, January, February, and March are four of the five safest months to drive in Nova Scotia. April is the other. The truly dangerous months are June, July, August, and September. Here’s a record of highway fatalities, by month, for the last five years in Nova Scotia, courtesy of the Nova Scotia Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal.

Fatal Collisions by Month-2

By all means, equip your car with proper snow tires, preferably studded. Adjust your speed to driving conditions. But don’t fear to drive in winter, even if snow is falling. We live in Nova Scotia. It snows here. If we cower in fear ever time that happens, we will never live up to our potential as a people, or an economy. Do not let exaggerated fears—of crime, terrorists, immigrants, or winter weather—govern our lives.

And stop calling off school ever time there’s a heavy dew. For the sake of the children.

[UPDATE] The ineffable Kate Beaton explores this theme on Facebook.

[UPDATE II] Contrarian reader SM, who loves to drive in winter and loves to warn others not to, correctly points out that collisions (fatal and otherwise) per kilometres driven would be a more accurate guide to the relative dangers of summer and winter driving. Presumably we drive more in summer.  We may also text and drive more, or drink and drive more. If anyone can find Nova Scotia (or Canadian) stats for collisions/km driven, by month, please let me know. I doubt very much they will show winter driving to be significantly riskier than summer driving.

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