In most parts of the world, this type of driving behaviour is referred to as ‘tailgating’ and will typically earn you the unbridled contempt of the driver in front of you. In Edmonton, however, this is a show of affection, a display of esprit de corps among the city's motorists. This is particularly true in winter, when Edmonton drivers will literally huddle together on the roads to keep warm.
2) Pass whenever physically possible.
In many places, it is regarded as pointless and dangerous to try to pass your fellow drivers on crowded city streets at the height of rush hour. But in Edmonton there's never any excuse for not passing, even in seemingly inappropriate places like the Tim Horton’s drive-thru, car washes, the K-Days Parade etc. There is always a way to get where you’re going a nanosecond quicker, and the seasoned Edmonton driver will always find a way of doing so.
3) Always wait until the last possible moment before changing lanes.
In Edmonton, changing lanes well ahead of the place where you have to turn is considered cowardice – here you are expected to wait until your turn-off is entirely within your frame of vision before attempting to change lanes. The more advanced Edmonton driver will deliberately take the furthest lane from the turn-off so as to have the opportunity to demonstrate the art of swerving across multiple lanes (see Rule #6) in a grand display of automotive ballet.
4) Turning lanes and passing lanes are one and the same.
|In my defence I was trying to hit this guy!|
A true Edmonton trademark popularly known as the ‘Prairie Dog Maneuver’, this is the move where you pull partway out of a minor residential street into oncoming traffic so that the nose of your car resembles some sort of inquisitive rodent peeping out of its hole. This is done in order to keep oncoming drivers on their toes, requiring them to swerve gracefully around the protruding car, often directly into oncoming traffic. Sometimes people do this just for fun, without any intention of turning onto the busy thoroughfare in question.
6) When merging onto a highway, always swing across to the lane furthest from you.
An Alberta classic preferably performed behind the wheel of a pickup truck the size of a medium-sized bungalow, a perfectly executed ‘Wild Rose Glissade’ will win you immediate respect among Alberta drivers. Edmontonians and Calgarians frequently compete against each other on the QEII as to who can perform this maneuver most skillfully and artistically in heavy traffic, with extra points given when executed in treacherous winter conditions. A rural variation on this move, known as the ‘Stavely Swerve’, involves swerving across the highway to the opposite side of the street across oncoming traffic, and then taking an impromptu roadside pit stop so as to have a conversation with your friend who is bailing hay in an adjacent field.
7) Never, ever let anyone merge in front of you.
Merging on Alberta roads is the art form that it is in large part because Alberta drivers, as a matter of pride, will do everything in their means to prevent you from merging in front of them. Techniques for doing so include driving so close to the vehicle in front of them as to resemble a car in tow (see Rule #1), turning the hazard lights on so as to feign mechanical problems and driving directly alongside the vehicle attempting to merge, matching their speed imitating their every move in the sincerest form of driver flattery.
|Is this not a reasonable parking job?|
10) There really always is time for Tim Horton’s.