It is important to have principles. They serve as the foundation of our view of the world and affect the way we think and behave. People’s tenets differ due to several factors, upbringing, upbringing, and religion being just a few.
But principles tend to be inflexible, which can sometimes get in the way of reason and lead to wrong decisions. This happened to me recently.
I have two sets of tires for my vehicle, one set of all season tires and one set of winter tires. After moving to BC, I was a little put off by the law requiring everyone to use winter tires between October 1 and April 30.
My all-season tires have the snowflake and mountain symbol on them, so although they are inferior to winter tires, they are technically legal.
Being from Alberta, I have been driving in dangerous winter conditions since I was 14 years old. Winter tires are not compulsory and car insurance is privatized.
Without sufficient evidence to support this idea, I believed that the winter tire mandate was not necessarily in the interest of public safety, but related to ICBC. Only two provinces require winter tires and both have public automobile insurance systems.
Seeing that ICBC is a for-profit, monopolistic, Crown-run “dumpster fire” that charges unfair rates to people in rural communities, I considered that requiring tires from winter was a way to save money at ICBC.
Making people pay for winter tires means that in theory there are fewer accidents, saving the company money in settlements and essentially offloading the costs onto the consumer.
At the very least, I thought people should have the freedom to choose whether to use winter tires, just like they should be able to choose who they buy insurance from. I therefore chose not to install my winter tires and used my all-season tires as a matter of principle.
I am a good winter driver and survived last winter very well. It further reinforced the idea that the government was demanding something that I didn’t need.
Last winter, however, didn’t see as much packed snow and ice on the roads and was comparatively warmer than what we’ve seen so far this year.
It goes without saying that this winter has been much worse. There was a considerable amount of snowfall in Terrace, associated with repeated arctic flows and cold temperatures. This has resulted in packed snow and ice, and the recent freezing rain has caused some really treacherous driving conditions in the area.
Fortunately, my parents and my husband pushed me to put on my winter tires this year, which I did. The tires have bear graphics and huge snowflakes on the side. They work as well as they look and I had great traction in the worst conditions this year.
Even though my other tires were street legal, the difference between the sets was day and night.
I don’t think I would have had an accident with my other tyres, but I feel much safer on the road and know that my risk of injuring myself or other drivers has decreased significantly.
Looking back, I feel a bit stupid for letting my principles (based largely on ideas that have little supporting evidence) keep me from doing something as simple as changing my tires. – in fact, I put myself and others at a higher risk.