driving in nova scotiaOne of the things I disliked most about living in the UK was the traffic. Driving around Cardiff was always congested. It used to take Richard 45 minutes to drive 5 miles from our home to his office. And when I was working afternoon shifts at the hospital, I would have to set off at least an hour and a half before my shift was due, to drive to work and try to find parking.

I’m not sure what it’s like now, as I haven’t been back for four years but I imagine it is worse than ever.

Even out of the main city area, traffic was frustrating, and driving from Cardiff to Richard’s family in Burnley was an absolute nightmare. That M5-M6 junction….

So what’s it like driving in Nova Scotia? Do we get traffic jams here?

Unlike other parts of Canada where the traffic can be just as crazy as what we left behind in the UK, driving in Nova Scotia is pretty laid back. I’m not going to tell that that we don’t have traffic jams, because we do have the odd tailback, bumper to bumper, and queue but they tend to be rush hour related – or road work related.

Driving anywhere is pretty straightforward. Yes, there are a few bottlenecks. But they only seem to pinch a few minutes of your journey and then you are clear.

Imagine being able to drive on the highways with your cruise control on? That’s unheard of driving anywhere in the UK.

The only time we could ever use cruise control was driving in France. And, if you’ve ever driven on the continent, then you are close to imagining what it is like everyday driving in Nova Scotia.

So it may come as a surprise to discover that Nova Scotia has the second highest traffic mortality rate in Canada. Transport Canada statistics show that there were 12 deaths for every 100,000 licensed drivers in the province, which was significantly higher than the national rate of 8.6. Saskatchewan was the only province that had a higher accident mortality rate.

The Nova Scotia government is considering a long-term plan to twin a number of highways, notably Highway 103 the scene of numerous car collisions in recent years.

Experts say that Nova Scotia’s higher fatality rate is due to the fact that, outside of Halifax, much of the province remains rural and dependent on cars and highways.  Ummmm, yes and so? How on earth does that account for such a high accident rate?

According to RCMP statistics, speed, impaired driving, and driving distracted are some of the explanations put forward to the higher incidence of accidents.

But what about all that space? and less cars on the road?

Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem to have made the people of Nova Scotia better drivers. I have witnessed so many more accidents in Nova Scotia that I ever did see driving in the UK. And not just when the weather is bad. It’s quite normal to see a car in a ditch in the middle of the day with no other car involved….!

The lack of awareness on the roads is truly incredible. And don’t get me started on the use (or mis-use) of roundabouts. Of course, there are good drivers too – it’s just a shame that the poor drivers outnumber the good ones.

driving in nova scotiaAlthough the traffic may be less, you still need your wits about you driving here. And believe me when I say, you can spot the British driver a mile off.

Drive safe wherever you are.

As always, feel free to get in touch with us about anything!

Jane & Richard

Moving 2 Nova Scotia