Navigating the Challenges of Edmonton Driving

Remember the last time you got through the Henday in less than half an hour during peak hours? Yeah, me neither, but that's just the way it is with Edmonton driving. We all have places to be and things to do, and while Edmonton people are generally nice, you can see their darker side emerge once they get behind the wheel. If you're the type that generally gets frustrated with the morning commute, or are new to driving in our beloved city, check out some of Kentwood Ford's tips on how to navigate the challenges of Edmonton driving.

Park & Ride

Close up of a businessman drinking coffee

Sometimes the best way to navigate Edmonton driving is by letting someone else do it! If you find yourself working or travelling to a busy area in the city where parking is either full or excessively expensive, leaving your car at a designated Park & Ride location helps keep your day going without having to deal with these frustrations. Edmonton's ETS system has 4 LRT stations (Clareview, Belvedere, Stadium, and Century Park), 3 transit centres (Meadows, Lewis Farms, and Eaux Claires), and the Davies City Lot that acts as convenient Park & Ride location throughout the busy workday.

Dealing with Heavy Traffic

Toronto, Canada - November 11, 2014: A view of traffic on the Gardiner Express at rush hour. Many vehicles can be seen in the image.

If you're one of those brave souls that's decided to join the rest of us in the Whitemud standstill while complaining about those shiny metal balls off the road, then you're a certified Edmontonian. Even here in the north side, trudging through the 7 am rush hour on 97th street heading downtown is no easy challenge. But with the right amount of patience, anything is possible. One of the best ways to deal with these heavy standstills to avoid tailgating your fellow drivers on the road. Heavy accelerating and braking are bad for your car's fuel economy while leaving the correct distance between you and the vehicle in front of you ensure no one gets involved in an accident that'll make you call your boss to tell them you'll be late.

Construction & Potholes

Ocala, Florida, USA - June 11, 2017: A large sinkhole opens in a parking area and swallows a car that teeters on the edge.

While summer is almost over here in Edmonton, there are still traces of the many cesspools of construction and potholes leftover from the warmer months--sometimes, there's literal cesspools because of the water that gets in there. We all hate that sinking feeling in our cars and in our chests when we feel our cars drop and hear a dense smack against the bottom of the body. That's why you should always stay vigilant for potholes ahead on the road, but if you encounter one straight ahead without any room to maneuver out of them, drive slowly. Potholes are hard on your vehicle's suspension and travelling at faster speeds increases the risk of damage to your vehicle (you can also check out more of our tips on how to handle potholes, here). So in the words of my favourite Kanye West song: drive slow, homie.

Trudging Through the Heavy Snow

Man is falling headfirst and legs up in the air into deep snow. Winterly slippery conditions and dangerous accident concept.

I'm afraid it's that time of the year, Edmontonians; winter is coming. Rather than preparing for the march of the white walkers, the only thing you need to get ready for is the giant piles of snow coming our way for the next several months. For one of the best ways to tackle the most difficult season in Edmonton, driving either an Intelligent 4-Wheel Drive or All-Wheel Drive vehicle helps you conquer any terrain imaginable. You can also check out some of our other winter driving tips, for more ways to stay warm and safe during the cold weather.

Watch Your Speed

Police Officer checking vehicle speed with radar gun. This stock image has a horizontal composition. Arm Badge Create by me, Gold Chest Emblem Custom Ordered Generic

Edmonton is notorious for having several photo radars placed around the city (see the next section for why). You never know when your vehicle might get flashed on at any time of the day, and let's be honest, we'd all like to save our lunch hours for actual lunch instead of trying to get 40% off our speeding ticket at the courthouse. Always be vigilant of your speed while on Edmonton roads, so you can skip the lines at the courthouse and just order in with Skip the Dishes at the office instead.

Look Out For These Cars

An angry truck driver waves his fist in the air.

What does a braggadocious business guy in a BMW, two Honda Civics drag-racing at 2 in the morning, and a RAM truck with a certain "masculine accessory" all have in common? None of them know how to use their turning signals. The best way to navigate Edmonton roads is to actually let everyone know where you're navigating so everyone knows where you plan on turning and can think to themselves "oh hey, this guy wants to switch lanes. I should probably make room for him." Because Edmontonians are courteous by nature, so why not extend that same courtesy on the road?

Just follow these tips and tricks and you'll be navigating Edmonton roads like a pro. From all of us at your north Edmonton Ford dealership, take care and get to work on time safely!

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