Inside Voice, Nerdery, Vancouvering

An Inventory of the Most Dangerous Cars and Drivers in Vancouver

For the past decade I’ve been driving in Vancouver. During that time I’ve accumulated a goodly amount of knowledge about the drivers and cars on our city’s streets, and which ones that you need to watch the fuck out for.

As a public service, I now present my personal observations in a collection available for peer review and scrutiny: an inventory of the most dangerous cars and drivers in Vancouver.

The Most Dangerous Cars

It goes without saying that a few types of cars are dangerous. Cabs, of course, have no karma. Avoid them because you know they will screw you six ways to Sunday.

Models and Colours

  • Toyota Corolla — champagne is worst, followed by white.
  • Toyota Camry — like Jim Morrison’s lyrics: wandering, wandering. Again, light colours are worst.
  • Minivans — the zepplins of the road these cocoons of distractions and cup holders make side and rear visibility difficult. Their blind spot is everywhere not directly in front of them. Stay back or pass quickly.
  • Honda Civic — sometimes dangerous, sometimes not. Look for additional telltale signs, listed below.

The Most Dangerous Drivers

  • Cell phone users
  • Parents with babies and / or pets in the car
  • Those who rely on back-window mirrors or rear-view cameras
  • Those with beepers that signal when they back up (nanny sirens)
  • Hat wearers of a certain vintage
  • Those who refuse to use the indicators
  • Lazy turners who cut corners short
  • Anyone looking for a parking spot

Additional Signs of Danger

Sometimes cars that don’t match the make or colour of the ones above or without the driver attributes above can still be a hazard to your health on the road.

But like poisonous snakes and berries, telltale signs reveal their danger.

I’ve collected a list of some of the most obvious signs to watch for below, from roughly most dangerous and most obvious, to less dangerous and less obvious. If you have additions, please add them. This is public service in action.

  • Student Driver cars — need I say more?
  • Learner and New driver stickers — as above but slightly less deadly.
  • The rear-window tissue box — always foretells erratic turns.
  • Dash-mounted cartoon characters — the distraction of all that cuteness bobbing on springs must be why they’re wandering lanes.
  • Out-of-province license plates — particularly from Alberta. They’re gawking, lost and looking for parking for the steam clock or the sign to Stanley Park.
  • Car co-op and car share programs like Zipcar — these folks don’t drive much and don’t own that car they’re driving.
  • Rental cars — see both items above. Rental cars combine at least one of those elements.
  • Loaner cars from auto body shops — proof they’ve already cracked up a car.

Now please, add your findings so we can make the world a better place.

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Travels

There and Back Again: a roadtrip

For the past week and half I’ve been travelling. On the road.

Starting in Vancouver, we drove to Calgary for a cousin’s wedding. Then we drove to Winnipeg to visit family.

Our family has a camp on Lake of the Woods, just east of Kenora. We drove out there for a few nights. We fished and swam and lazed about.

Then we returned to Winnipeg and Monique flew home. I stayed another few days then set out in the car, back west.

I drove to Calgary my first day and stayed with friends.

The next morning I drove south to Missoula, Montana, up and down the Road to the Sun in Glacier National Park. I stayed at a bed and breakfast on the shore of the South Fork river. I open all the windows in my room and slept to the constant sound of rushing water.

I met with a business contact the following morning, then headed west. I passed through the Coeur D’Alene, Idaho, which is pronouced Coor Delane, without a hint of French.

I cross the border again back to Canada and drove up the Kootenay valley. I swam at a beach in Kootenay Lake. I rode the ferry across Kootenay Lake as the sun touched the tops of the mountains and tinted the world golden.

I now sit in The White House hostel in Nelson, BC.

The last leg of my journey is tomorrow, back to home in Vancouver along highway #3.

I created the map at the top of this post to guide me and thought it might be fun to share to show my route. Google Maps also tells me that by journey’s end tomorrow I will have travelled roughly 5,894 KMs.

A few recent photos are in my flickr photostream. I’ll add new ones once I’m back home and settled.

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Food

100-Mile Diet Episode on Foraging for Crabs in Vancouver

100-Mile Diet crab dinner preparations.

Last summer we spent a day filming some footage for a web episode of Food TV’s show The 100-Mile Diet called Adventures in Foraging. Today that web episode went live.

Here’s the summary:

Friends Chad and James are hosting a foraging-themed dinner party, and set out to catch their main course: dungeness crabs that they will grab by hand. But when it won’t stop raining, and they can’t find the crabs they’re looking for, they have to come up with a new plan. Will they be able to catch anything to serve for dinner?

Here’s the link to see the video Adventures in Foraging.

Credits

Director/Editor: Hart Snider
Camera: Hart Snider
Assistant Director: Kate Walker

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