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Mom Mondays: The Hockey Mom's Guide to Winter Driving

(Photo by Corey Balazowich)

There aren’t many who tackle winter driving quite like hockey moms. While most would look at the weather forecast and say, “It’s a mess out there and we’re not going anywhere today!”, a hockey mom will look out the window and say, “It’s a mess out there, better warm up the car before we head out.”

I’ve long since outgrown hand break slides, parking lot donuts and drifting, and despite my status as a hockey mom, winter driving is as legitimate a menace as a line mate. The older I get, the more I stress about winter driving – probably because I now have more precious cargo. Even though we got a pretty serious reprieve from winter driving until the last week of December (at least in eastern Ontario), there really is no getting out of it.

Since I can’t do anything about the weather (and avoiding it is sometimes not possible when you’re a hockey mom), I can give some advice to those winter drivers who make my life even more miserable than the relentless snow. If you’re one of those drivers who think that there is no need to change anything about their driving just because it’s winter, read on:

    1.       Slow down!
I get it. You’re in a hurry and you can’t help but pass me doing 120km/hour in blinding snow. I appreciate your slush splatter. Keeps me on my toes. Good luck passing that snow plow up ahead.

    2.       Back off!
Yes, I am well aware that I’ve reduced my speed given it’s a blizzard out here. That’s no reason to tailgate me so closely that I can practically see the white chalk (DR DD) on your Tim Horton’s coffee lid.

    3.       Get back in your car!
For God’s sake, don’t get out of your car! I’m really sorry the ditch somehow sucked your car into it but do you not think that standing on the side of a highway (that’s obviously pretty slippery), and calling CAA on your cell phone is asking for a date with the devil? Get back in your car and put your hazards on!

    4.       Get a real set!
Really? All-season tires? I can’t even talk to you.

    5.       Get a snow scraper!
Credit cards are for shopping, not for cleaning off your windshield. I can’t believe anyone would be that unprepared for winter driving. And since I know it will take you an hour to do so, and I can’t bear to watch even another minute, I now feel compelled to give you my ice scraper which will now put me behind schedule. Never mind. Keep the darn thing. I always carry an extra.

Oh yes, I carry an ‘extra’ (because of that time we do not speak of in my family when I carefully cleaned off the whole car and left the brush leaning on the back hatch and calmly drove away). Every winter trip to the arena is now an exercise worthy of praise from a doomsday prepper. I make sure I have the shovel, extra windshield washer fluid next to the hockey bag.

I don’t have to worry about sand or kitty litter because I know that skate mat will help me get out of a slippery spot. And everyone knows a hockey mom has a blanket in her car … which is right next to my car safety kit with a candle in it. I now even have booster cables (though I still don’t exactly know what I would do if I needed to use them!). And should I have no cell signal, which my passengers would deem a cataclysmic event of biblical proportions, I can pull out my paper map. Yes, a paper road map.

So winter is finally here, and so is winter driving. Just be prepared and stay out of my way!

Three cheers for winter hockey – and smooth sailing on the roads for the hockey moms.

Tags: minor hockey

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