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Lourens52

White as the driven snow

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Lourens52

Here’s a question for those who’ve experienced at least one winter driving from a snow-driving virgin (meant in the politest way possible).

I’ve been partial to white cars for the most part. White cars don’t show dirt as quickly/easily as black gleamer, and is, I think, safer because of visibility issues.

There’s surprisingly little real research about car colour and safety bar an Australian study that found that white cars are, under certain conditions a little safer because of improved visibility. There’s also a UK study (dating back to the 1970s) but its methodology has been somewhat discredited. There’s lot’s of anecdotal online commentary about silver/grey cars often being rear-ended in colder climates (UK, Canada, northern states in the USA). But this could be because it’s a popular colour. Also in Canada? It would seem the insurers don’t find a correlation and so don’t differentiate the premiums based on car-colour. I’m sure if they could add a buck or two because you chose to drive a puce-coloured passion wagon with yellow polka dots, they would load you.

But of course, I’ve never driven in driven snow. So dear experienced forumites: What’s your experience in Canada? Do white cars blend into the white background, turning you into a dangerous ghost rider? Or should I indulge in that red Jeep Wrangler (I’ve wanted one since I was a youngster), or is that just an excuse to break the budget? Ah the budget, the red machine will have to wait until well after we’re settled. Ok well, well, ‘blerrie’ well after! Apologies to those with sensitive ears.

White push-bike?

PS

Those shiny black FBI wagons are smart too, but to keep the shine on... eish, white it is unless advised otherwise by the esteemed experienced forumites.

Edited by Lourens52
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MaryJane

No issues with having a white car and driving in snow. You do not turn white as a ghost on the road. In fact, drivers seem to see you a mile away because of your....er, white-ness. Snowflakes don't move horizontally so it must be a car, right?

I had a pearly white car as my first Canadian car. No jokes. That was the actual name of the colour of that car. Made me feel like a shiny tooth with the rest of them pearly whites on the road. :P

On a serious note, it was not really my colour of choice but apparently the cheaper special edition model (that I needed in a few days time) only came in white. Newly landed immigrants can't be choosers so....

Mind you, I've never driven in snow that was about as high as the car itself so that could also be something to note. All the snow banks are normally on the sidewalk already by the time I get on the road.

In a blizzard on a dark stormy night, well....not much of anything you can see, much less distinguish colours of cars. Everybody's driving slow (they should be anyway) and so white car or not, your headlights (and blinkers) should tell the other cars that you are there.

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Nelline

Ummmm try driving in a blizzard on the East Coast and check out those horizontally driven snow... seriously.

Snowflakes don't move horizontally so it must be a car, right?

Ha ha MJ, you do have a turn of phrase!

Lourens I've also preferred white cars for the same reasons you have, and I don't "think" it would be an issue. You'd be off the road anyway in a blizzard, trust me. And in normal snowy conditions it would ok I think. We've only bought a 2nd hand car to date, so beggars couldn't be choosers (it is light metallic blue) but the Ford we'd test driven awhile ago and were on the point of buying, was white and we'd not really worried about it.

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Guest

I’ve been partial to white cars for the most part. White cars don’t show dirt as quickly/easily as black gleamer, and is, I think, safer because of visibility issues.

Lourens, I'm extremely ''partial'' to driving white cars. Been driving one in Canada for the past six years and just ordered another one. I do roughly 5000 to 6000 km per month so have driven in the snow when most other people will stay at home. Never encountered any major problems so far.

That said, watch this YouTube movie clip https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xrKBV76pEfY Scary stuff....

Another link you might find useful https://www.mainstreet.com/article/5-cars-youll-want-to-be-driving-when-the-snow-starts-falling In my opinion, you don't require a AWD / 4WD motor car, just a good set of winter tires, common sense and patience.

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Hennie vdB

Yep, it's also dark during most of the typical driving times in winter, and permanent headlights ensure visibility regardless of car colour. And don't give up the dream - go for a "pre-owned" red Wrangler - I bought a 2007 model in 2012 from a Jeep dealer at 90k km, now at 130k km and still purring nicely.

I remember research decades ago in SA that stated dark grey, dark blue, silver and black cars are the most difficult to spot in dusk / dawn conditions, but I personally stay away from dark colours purely because of the baking car in summers - yes, even in Canada. And yes, as you mention, tough to keep clean. The best colour I have ever seen in my life for NOT showing dirt, was a pale yellow car, strangely enough. Renault 5, for those old enough to remember...

Edited by Hennie vd Berg

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Gavin Mac

White cars are quite popular especially where the colour suites the car. They are generally cheaper as well. I bought a new charcoal grey Dodge Minivan 2012 as I only had a choice of charcoal grey, black or white at the time and with this vehicle the white ones looked like delivery vans. Dark colours look nice when washed but crap in winter with all the salt on the roads.

The biggest issue I have here in the GTA concerning safety is that the people drive in the dark/snow and rain without switching their headlights on. This also means no tail lights and I think because of the automatic driving lights, one assumes all lights are on. I've even seen people driving on the 401 late at night without any lights at all. Totally oblivious.

No mater what time it is or where ever you are here in the GTA, there will always be a vehicle in front of you or behind you.......

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Ingrid Brunkhorst Hurrell

Interesting thread. Had me read up a bit so I learnt a few things myself:

While white cars may not be the most visible in a blizzard, white cars may be safer than black ones. Black cars have a 12% higher crash risk relative to white cars in daylight, followed by gray (11% higher), silver (10%) and blue and red (7%), according to a 2007 study of two decades and more than 850,000 car accidents by Monash University Accident Research Centre in Victoria, Australia. At dawn and dusk, black vehicles were found to have a 47% higher crash risk than white (silver was 15% higher and gray was 27% higher).

MW-CH859_car_co_20140611163441_MG.jpg?uu

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/white-cars-are-no-1-blame-the-iphone-not-oj-2014-06-12

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Guest

White cars are quite popular especially where the colour suites the car. They are generally cheaper as well.

Correct Gavin, white painted cars are also cheaper to repair when it comes to minor fender benders.

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Tracey22

By the time we reach february, all cars look grey - even the black cars.

White as the driven snow - it should be black as the driven snow.

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OutOfSa

That said, watch this YouTube movie clip https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xrKBV76pEfY Scary stuff....

Hmm,

Sorry Lawrence, but that video looks very supiciously like a you-duped-tube special, notice the interesting blurred patch on the windscreen....

In my experience, there is little difference in visibility - any car will periodically disappear in 'snow spray' - camera's are way worse at seeing things than eyes.

Also, it is mandatory to drive with healights on here (well, most cars have driving lights), which makes them all look the same in poor conditions - ie, a blur of lights. Obviously, it is smart to use full headlights in snow and the red tail lights show up better than paint. Road marking become invisible in rain and snow - it's something about the sheen that the roads get here.

GTAers like to tailgate, especially bakkies, so getting rear ended is easy. They also like to drive much faster in snow and low visibility, except for a few panic-ers that drive very slowly, and they get rammed by the speedsters.

I have a silver car, and mostly I don't get rammed anymore than anyone else - defensive driving is a must here, especially in Markham where the rules are simple, < Drive first, look later, NEVER allow a vehicle to merge into your lane under any circumstances, be oblivious to the world, only clean the snow / frost from a small area in the front windscreen, which is smart - because what you cannot see has to avoid you. Hang something giant from your rear view mirror that blocks about 70% of your view - "what you can't see....." >

Apart from Bakkies being the Taxi's of Canada, every thing else is fine - cops are great, but scarce... in the semi rural areas. The actual speed limit is 18-20Km over the posted limit. Tailgating will make the car in front speed up.

Don't ever rearend a person, you normally get a Wreckless driving charge, (court) and 3-6 demerits & $600 - $1000) -> my colleague recently had the pleasure.

" Black cars have a 12% higher crash risk relative to white cars in daylight" - stands to a different reason - black cars are very popular here - and they tend to drive very aggressively, er no hang on - everyone does that.

I've decided to install a driving cam, helps to clear up arguments.

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Nelline

OOSA I wonder if drivers are more aggressive in the GTA than other areas, because in Ottawa where we lived for two years, the kind of driving you described was more the exception (though it did occur), and here on PEI it is definitely the exception - but then there is far less traffic here and although you do get speedsters, tailgating is not the norm and the speedsters tend to weave in and out and drive off... unless they get caught a couple of kms on by the local rcmp yippeeeee!

The one thing that irritates me about many island drivers, is the way they veer off to the right when they want to turn left... why on earth not keep as far left as possible so others can pass on your right instead of being stuck behind you...

Strangely enough ( and this comes from a "rescue truck driver" ) the most vehicles they have to rescue out of snowy ditches etc, are the huge 4x4 bakkies, mainly, he said, because the drivers believe that 4x4 traction and huge tires give them an advantage over regular cars and in actual fact, these things simply cannot replace a little bit of extra care, less speed (and good winter tires) in bad conditions.

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Guest

Hmm,

Sorry Lawrence, but that video looks very supiciously like a you-duped-tube special, notice the interesting blurred patch on the windscreen....

Very possible OOSA. Never forget that first scary experience driving in extreme "white out'' conditions" . Even worse in my opinion than driving in thick misty conditions experienced along the Garden Route and Cape Town, SA.

I have a silver car, and mostly I don't get rammed anymore than anyone else - defensive driving is a must here, especially in Markham where the rules are simple, < Drive first, look later

Spot on for Markham, not sure if its something they put in the water!

I've decided to install a driving cam, helps to clear up arguments.

Doing the same due to the high km I do monthly / annually.

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Guest

OOSA I wonder if drivers are more aggressive in the GTA than other areas,

In my opinion I do find GTA drivers more aggressive than other areas. Large part of the problem is that our road network in the GTA has reached traffic saturation point and they keep building more Condo's down town. With + 100 000 immigrants arriving annually in the GTA, situation can only get worse. We've discussed this at length with engineers I deal with daily and most agree its a problems that's here to stay. Add to that all the bicycle lanes.

I'll make sure my next move is to one the smaller towns about 100 km away from the GTA.

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Tracey22

I find the driving in the GTA way more aggressive than in Ottawa. I find in ottawa drivers are more likely to stick to speed limits and leave a good gap between cars.

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Cathy K

We love colour, even in our cars. Charlene has a bright red one, and ours a rather nice metallic grey.

There is not much snow on Vancouver Island, but the black ice is quite something; slip 'n slide at its worst.

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