Owning a lizard who eats insects can lean toward the expensive side if you’re buying your feeders from your local petstore. Since variety is the key to a healthy life, different types of insects should be fed to your pet on a regular basis. I own two female bearded dragons and a female leopard gecko. My trio of girls enjoy (apart from fruit and veggies) a mix of crickets, phoenix worms, hornworms, mealworms, superworms, butterworms and waxworms.
The first few months that I had my two beardies, I was making a trip to Petsmart 2-3 times a week, and let me tell you, that can get expensive! (See my price comparison chart after this segment) I finally did some research and found some online places which sell bulk quantities of insects to retail customers. If you’re interested in investigating this route for yourself, follow the links to the respective sellers in the chart below.
I found that not only was it much easier on my wallet to buy from online wholesalers, but the bugs seemed happier, and there is better selection (I haven’t been able to buy phoenix or silkworms at my local store). I know it sounds strange to talk about happy bugs, but think of it this way: The retailer places their order for 5000 superworms with the wholesaler. We know they’ll order more than just one type, but let’s follow just one bug today. The wholesaler gets the order on Monday. On Tuesday they measure out 5000 worms and pack them into 25 or 50 count containers with a little bit of substrate. They get packed into their boxes, put on the truck and get shipped out on Wednesday. On Thursday afternoon they finally reach their destination. That may not sound too terrible until you consider that they’ll now sit on the shelf at the petstore without food or moisture in that tiny container until you buy them and bring them home. Often when you do, you just open the pack and feed them to your hungry lizard, hopefully dusting a bit of calcium or vitamins on top first. Sure, they’ve retained some nutrients since they’re alive, but I wouldn’t say they’re in optimum shape. Alternately, when you order directly from the wholesaler, you get this box of a wriggling mass of 500 or so worms. Obviously you’re not going to feed them off all at once, so you give them some veggies and let them enjoy a few more weeks of life in the substrate you’ve prepared for them. So you have happier, healthier worms, and by extension, happier, healthier pets.
After a few months of high prices and lowered quality, I decided to try my hand at breeding feeder insects myself. It actually came about because my beardies simply lose their minds with excitement when I bring home hornworms, and they’re ridiculously expensive! Even buying these little green delights from wholesalers will break the bank. Unfortunately, breeding them is also pretty labor-intensive, so I decided to check around a little bit and find a feeder which would be a little easier for a newbie. I’d still like to make the attempt with the hornworms, but I think that will be the last species I try.
I am now in the process of raising superworms, waxworms, mealworms and waiting for a shipment of silkworm eggs so I can try my hand at those also. My primary reason for breeding these little guys is monetary, however, I am fascinated by their life-cycles and sometimes I just sit there and watch them as they go about their lives in their little micro-worlds. My goal is to write instructive posts according to my personal experiences on each species eventually, but I’m going to start at the beginning: Superworms.
Any website you read will tell you that superworms are not worms at all, but actually the larval stage of the darkling beetle. The “worms” can reach about 2-1/2 inches long and are a staple of my beardies diets. They're nutritious, easy to keep (no yucky 'cricket' stink!) and actually can be covered in calcium powder, contrary to popular belief. The girls love them, and I love hearing the “crunch, crunch, crunch” - I know it’s kinda sick, but I do. Whatever my babies enjoy makes me happy. All I have to do is put my hand on the superworm bin and Vexus comes running – she knows what’s in there!
Before I get to my adventures in breeding, here is the price comparison chart with links to Ontario wholesalers I promised. Please keep in mind that things change. Prices go up and down (usually up), websites go away and some things become unavailable, so use this list as a guide only. I cannot estimate shipping, because it usually depends on how much you're buying and where you live. My usual order is about $100.00 and shipping is usually approx. $20.00. All links on this site open in a new window. As you can see, the online places, including personal breeders all have about the same cost per worm. Large scale pet stores charge double and triple.
PetSmart - 25pc @ $3.99 = 0.1596ea 50pc @ 5.99 = 0.1198ea (no shipping cost, pickup only)
Kijiji - 100pc @ $5.00 = 0.050ea (no shipping cost, local pickup only)
Recorp Inc - 500pc @ $18.00 = 0.036ea 1000pc @ $30.00 = 0.030ea (+ shipping)
The Worm Lady - 500pc @ $23.95 = 0.0479ea 1000pc @ $40.00 = 0.04ea (+ shipping)
Supercricket - 500pc @ $19.99 = 0.04ea 1000pc @ $31.99 = 0.032ea (+ shipping)
Capital Dragons - 500pc @ $24.99 = 0.05ea 1000pc @ $39.99 = 0.04ea (+ shipping)
Silkworms.ca - 250pc @ $13.00 = 0.052ea 500pc @ $25.99 = 0.052ea (+ shipping)
Raising Superworms: My Personal Adventure
Stage One: Materials Needed
25-50 superworms - if you’re just a newbie it’s usually best to start off small and see where it goes from here. Pick the largest, liveliest guys you have. Happy larva = happy beetles!
25-50 small containers - use whatever is available to you. If you have access to old 35mm film containers, use them. Otherwise, plastic shot glasses are good (that's what I use) and you also have the option of using tackle or bead boxes, as long as you drill holes in the top for air. As long as the sides are high enough, you don’t even need a cover.
This is really all you need for the initial stage. As I said, pick the best, largest worms from your repertoire and place one in each container. It is very important that they are alone with no substrate or moisture. Taking away their nourishment will force them to pupate, which is the first step to becoming a beetle. Separation is mandatory because when they get hungry enough they’ll eat each other. That said, once you’ve done this, the waiting begins. I’d love to tell you that everything which follows happens en masse, but that would be a lie. Here and there, your little friends will begin to curl themselves into a ‘c’ or ‘e’ shape. This is good. Straight and black is bad. Curly = getting ready to change. Straight = dead. The changes will begin about a week or two depending on how warm it is in your house. I started in the winter months, so it was usually only about 21.5 degrees Celsius, and it took about two weeks for mine to start curling. In my experience, they will pupate all at different times. It could be one today, three tomorrow, then none, then only one again. There seems to be no rule, except maybe some had bigger reserves than others. They will usually shed their skin at least once during their stint in solitary confinement and I don’t know if it makes a difference, but I usually just remove this and toss it out. Of note: I have used both supers purchased from retailers and from wholesalers. The petstore ones seem to take much longer to pupate and have a higher death rate. I do not know why, as I would assume it would be the other way around, since they’re probably hungry when I get them from the store, but there you have it.
Stage Two: Materials Needed
During this stage, your little curly buddies will begin to morph into pupae. It’s so great! When they emerge, they’ll be light cream in colour and look like little aliens. As they get ready to become beetles, they’ll darken in colour, beginning with the eyes. As soon as they get a “face”, I know it won’t be long. At this stage, some people will remove them to a separate container to free up a container for a new worm. I like to leave them in there until they become beetles, unless I know I’ll be gone all day and one seems close, then I’ll put it in the corner of the beetle tank and hope he doesn’t get eaten.
You will notice that the pupae are pretty much motionless during this period unless you touch them. I have noticed that just before they emerge they’ll start to move their tail up and down slowly. While your larva are pupae, you will have about a week or two (again, depending on temperature mostly) to prepare for the next step.
Stage Three: Materials Needed
Container - you can use large Tupperware or Rubbermaid bins, old fish tanks, critter holders, pretty much anything plastic or glass (i.e. with smooth sides that can’t be chewed through) is good. Keep in mind how many beetles you’ll be housing, give them a decent amount of space.
Eggcrate and/or toilet paper/paper towel cores - anything the beetles can crawl on and congregate under.
Substrate - this is their bedding and they will lay eggs in it.
Food - veggie and fruit scraps are fine
When your little aliens begin to emerge as beetles, they will once again be a very light cream colour. Over the course of the day, they’ll progressively darken until they’re full black about 24 hours after emergence.
It’s really important, in my humble opinion, to have good substrate for your feeders. What they eat will be transferred to your pets. Happy bugs = happy pets. Most commonly I read oat bran or something along those lines as substrate. I am not saying they’re wrong; they’ve been doing this a whole lot longer than I have. However, I prefer to make mine nutrient and calcium dense to help all of my babies be as healthy as possible. My substrate recipe is listed at the end of this section.
To set up your new habitat, take your container (I use stackable plastic bins I bought at the dollar store usually, but an old frog tank [pictured] is also in use) and place a layer of substrate about 1/2” thick along the bottom. Place some items inside the container that the beetles can climb over and congregate under. I use eggcrate and sometimes will toss in a half of a paper towel roll core. In order to cut down on molding, you may also want to consider a plastic container lid to place their food on. I change their food almost daily, so this is not a concern for me, but better to be safe than sorry. Mold is never a good thing. Once you place your beetles in their new home, you need to make sure that they have access to moisture, i.e. scraps of veggies and fruit. Be careful with fruit, as it does mold rather quickly. Things like carrots seem to dry out rather than mold. If they don’t get enough moisture, they will eat each other. You do not need to worry about removing dead beetles, these guys take care of their own, and they will eat their dead. Yuk, I know, but at least you don’t have to worry about disposal. Good things to give them are lettuce, potato, apples, carrots, fennel, strawberries and sweet peppers. They’re not too picky. Please do not give them anything your particular lizard is unable to eat. Whether it filters down to the eventual baby that your pet will eat, I do not know, but my question is, do you really want to take that chance? For example, onions and tomato plant leaves are toxic to bearded dragons - so these are things that my beetles will never get in their tank.
And that’s pretty much it! You let them do their thing and be beetles. FYI, you don’t necessarily need a lid on your container. Although they have the ability to do so, these beetles rarely fly. I have read that they may do so when they feel threatened, but even then do not make it too far. None of mine have ever made the attempt, even though I grab at them and shake their eggcrate like crazy when I’m switching them to a new container.
As promised, here is the list of ingredients which make up my substrate (which I use for my worms and beetles):
Fluker's cricket feed
Reptile Munchies omnivore mix
Gerber rice and banana cereal
freeze dried bloodworms
wild birdseed mix
I take more of some (cheerios, oats) and less of others (bloodworms, flax) and grind them into a mix of fine and coarse ground substrate. The beetles don't burrow, so theirs is a little chunkier, but I'll add some more finely ground substrate to the super's container. I've done some limited research and tried to find dry things that are not poisonous to my beardies, lower in phosphorous and higher in calcium.
You’ll have to move your beetles to a new habitat every 2-3 weeks to prevent them from eating their offspring. Remove only the beetles, leaving their jungle gym and everything else behind, as they may have laid eggs on any surface within their enclosure. The eggs are tiny and you won’t be able to see them, so better to be safe than sorry. Just make up a new container using the guidelines in stage three and you can safely move them by picking them up by their sides. As fascinated as I am by them, I don’t actually want to touch them, so I utilize two methods: pick them up with long tweezers that I use to feed my lizards and the shake & dump. I just pick up their eggcrate and shake it into the new container. Some of them are really good at holding on for dear life, but they eventually fall. The tweezers method is not exactly easy; they can be pretty quick little buggers.
Whenever you’re going to discard anything coming out of these containers, be it food, substrate, eggcrate or whatever, ALWAYS put it in a plastic bag and freeze it for about 24 hours first. This is an important step where you kill off any babies or eggs that may be left behind. Please ensure that you are a responsible pet owner and that you never release your feeder insects into the wild where they can become pests.
Good luck & have fun! ~s
I have to admit that I didn't really notice the issue before. I had the same doctor since I was 16 and I honestly don't even remember how it was that I first came to start seeing her. She was a good, caring doctor who was always a little overbooked, so the wait was long, but hey, if your doctor is listening to your health concerns and genuinely seems interested in helping you, who am I to complain?
Things, sadly, always change. My doctor moved to a large clinic facility, which is great because you have access to everything in one place, but she started to double book each 15 minute appointment, so that if your appointment was for 1:15, you probably wouldn't get in to see her until 3:00. And that's only if you showed up on time for your slot. God help you if you were late, you could be there until 4-ish. She was also getting older and taking many, many more vacations a year than an average person. Plus she was Jewish and did not work on any of their numerous holidays. Factor all of this in and you have to book your appointment 3-4 weeks in advance. Hopefully you get a heads-up as to when you're going to actually get sick. So I went to see her less and less frequently because, quite frankly, I just don't have the time nor patience for this type of waiting game. After I moved to Oshawa, it was even more difficult to get out to Toronto to see her. Plus, any specialists she sends you to will be in the Toronto area, and that was a can of worms I did not want opened.
As for pediatrics, my children's doctor was located in Richmondhill, which also became something of an issue after we moved. Sure, regular checkups and immunizations aren't an issue, but when your child is really sick (but not emergency room sick), you want to be able to get to the pediatrician as soon as possible. His office was also always packed and waiting upwards of 45 minutes after your appointment time was the norm. He suggested we find a doctor closer to us in Durham, but had none to recommend. I did some internet searching and found one accepting new patients. We saw him a couple of times. After a few months under his care, I called to make an appointment for a checkup for the boys. Imagine my surprise when I was told that the doctor retired! I don't know about his other patients, but I did not receive a phone call, letter or email letting me know that perhaps I should make other arrangements for my children's medical care. The receptionist there also had no suggestions for a new pediatrician.
Off to the internet I went to begin my search anew. A word of caution: just because the internet says that Dr. A is accepting new patients, pick more than one and don't hold your breath. Unfortunately, not all information online is always up to date, and sometimes you run into snags. Always have a backup. Or two. From experience I can tell you that it is not easy to find a pediatrician. My boys aren't little anymore, so I just found some GPs and started making calls. I found them a doctor. Not the greatest, mind you, but at least they have a doctor. She's the type that doesn't take much time with you and usually says things like "it's fine" and "I wouldn't worry about it". If you're the sort of person who believes that the medical professional knows what they're talking about, you'll say "great" and go home. I, on the other hand, can be a bit pushy when I need to, and I always make good use of the internet and spend some time looking up symptoms on multiple sites so that I feel that I'm a little informed about what I could possibly be facing. I can then decide whether or not to take "it's fine" at face value, or push for a more thorough examination and possibly a referral to a specialist. Case in point: My husband had a mole on his face which grew, changed shape and colour frequently, and bled.
Now, I have absolutely no medical training, but even without the internet I can tell you that is not normal behavior for a mole. I have lots of moles, and not one of mine behave that way. I went with him to see her and she took a quick look at it (at the time it was crusty because it had been bleeding on and off that week) and proclaimed it was nothing to worry about. I did not agree, so I pressed her for a referral to a dermatologist. A month or so later they removed and tested it and lo and behold, it was malignant. The lesson here is that you should always do your own research and use your own judgement. Push if you have to, it's your health you're dealing with. So we have a shitty doctor, but good luck finding another.
My own search for a new family doctor has also not been a barrel of monkeys. My kid's and husband's doctor (she is one and the same) is still accepting new patients, however, I wanted to try to find a better one for myself, and then try to bring the boys over to mine. I have been going to an urgent care clinic these past two years whenever I am very sick, but that also means that I have not had a regular checkup in almost three years. Since I am no longer a spring chicken, it seems necessary to have a family doctor you're comfortable with, who is close enough that you can see them regularly for checkups and illness.
I hit the internet again, this time spending some time on ratemds.com which is a great resource for people looking for a new doctor. They have information about whether the doctor is accepting new patients, patient reviews and often whether they are male or female, which can make a difference with comfort levels. So I found a fantastically rated doctor located in the very medical center that houses my kid's doctor. I called to make an appointment and was told that she is on mat leave and (obviously) not taking appointments right now. Ugh, I felt dejected. The only other highly rated doctors were in Whitby and male. I really wanted a doctor in Oshawa. I took a chance and asked if the receptionist knew of any other doctors in the building who were accepting new patients (it's a central booking system, so I rolled the dice). Third time's the charm, I guess. She did have another doctor she could make an appointment with for me. In two weeks. Wow. In regular circumstances I wouldn't mind. It's been over two years, what's another two weeks, right? Only problem is that I have been having some disturbing symptoms recently which cannot be attended by a walk-in clinic. If I am correct, there will be tests and medication and on-going appointments, all of which warrant regular visits to one doctor. I could go to my Toronto doctor in the meantime, but I do not want to have to start over again in the middle and explain everything again and go through testing a second time with a new doctor. I'd rather start with one and follow through. Also, it would probably take three weeks before I get an appointment with her anyway. Could be longer if she's on vacation. So, whatever, I decided to take the appointment and wait the two weeks. That was a week ago. My appointment was scheduled for next Thursday, June 20th. I say was because I received a call from the clinic yesterday cancelling my appointment because this doctor is also going on maternity leave and will not be seeing any more patients, new or otherwise. It should not be this difficult to see a doctor.
So I asked her, again, if there were any other doctors in the facility accepting new patients. She told me another one and set an appointment for the end of June! So I waited a week for an appointment two weeks away just to have that one cancelled and another made two weeks from now? I informed her that it was kind of important that I see a doctor soon, I've already waited a week. I have medical issues, which is pretty much the reason I made an appointment in the first place. So she "fit me in" two days earlier. It's still two weeks away, but really, what choice do I have? Oh, and this doctor seems to have an even worse rating than the doctor I'm currently trying to avoid. I checked if there were any others available to see new patients... two. And one of them has a terrible bedside manner (apparently) and the second is just as apathetic about your medical problems as my kid's current one. Pick your poison, I guess.
So there you have it: my commentary on what I didn't actually think was broken until I had to use it!
Uvijek Vjerni - Go Croatia!
Ahh, the beautiful game. Here we are at the start of the biggest tournament in the world of sports. Each match day I'll give my prediction for the outcome of the game(s) of the day. It's so fun to guess, but please bear in mind that I have absolutely no idea what I'm talking about. I do check some stats and watch some games during off-years, but I am in no way a fanatic. However, I do not miss a game if I can help it every two years (World Cup + Euro Cup), and I am so very stoked that the games are in the afternoon here! No 3:00am matches, how great is that? Anyway, usually I'll try to let stats and professionalism guide me, but when it comes to Croatia, I admit that I am blatantly biased and will always predict with my heart.
So today I predict a 0-0 tie between Brazil and Croatia
So, a craving for chili may seem like a strange thing to have this week, since the weather has been warm and beautiful, but there you have it. Since I didn't really feel like going to the grocery store, I took a quick look at my available supplies, and off I went!
The result was this yummy chili which wouldn't win any awards, but was relatively quick to prepare (unless you factor in the chopping time and the time it took to cook the dried beans) and surely wouldn't be left uneaten. I usually use canned beans when making chili or pretty much anything with beans because it's much, much quicker, but I didn't have anything but dried on hand, so dried it was.
I also think that home cooking is not generally an exact science, so all the measurements I've listed below are approximate: I kinda eyeball when I'm cooking. So adjust to taste while you're making this. Another thing to note is that we don't generally eat spicy foods, so if you're looking for spice, add some finely chopped scotch bonnets or cayenne pepper. If you are not a fan of spice, this chili will work for your family.
I received a free sample of Q Energy, an energy and health drink in powder form from a Canadian company based in North Vancouver.
What is Q? According to their website, qenergydrink.com, it "...offers clean energy, support for your health, improved performance... with high quality natural ingredients... approved by Health Canada."
Their packets come in three flavors: Lemon Lime, Wildberry and Orange. Although my sample pack came with three packets, I received no orange. It seems this is a new flavor for them, so it was possibly not in any sample pack at the time I made my request.
Now for the review: First off, I love the packaging, it's a cute little flip top with loads of product information that you generally do not get with samples. After reading the ingredients, I realized that I knew what most of them were and how to pronounce them, which is always a big plus in my book. Although the package states to mix (shaken, not stirred!) the powder into a 700ml bottle, I only had a 500ml handy, so I mixed it in and hoped for the best. Although I was quite cautious with my first sip (you know what that tastes like when you mix more than what you're supposed to), both flavors were quite mild and refreshing. Unlike other 'energy' drinks on the market today which are pretty much just sugar water, they were light tasting with just the right amount of flavor and sweetness. Mind you, I do not have much of a sweet tooth, and often water down my juice slightly.
The powder did mix in well, although I gave it a good shake before each drink because there was a bit of sediment on the bottom of the bottle. However, there was none left once the drink was finished, all of the product was consumed with the water. The first bottle was consumed cool-ish (warmed up quite a bit before I got to work) and the second ice-cold. Both were surprisingly good. Another plus - it doesn't have to be very cold to still be enjoyable.
I have a very high tolerance for caffeine, and subsequently I can drink coffee, Redbull or Monster and fall asleep within minutes. It goes without saying that I did not have very high hopes for any actual energy boost from this product. Well, I am happy to report that I was wrong. I drank my first bottle the sluggish morning after a sleepless night, and I'm glad I did. I was able to get through my day with a normal level of energy rather than trying to find a back room to curl up and sleep in. Since I was so exhausted to begin with, I did come down pretty hard around 2:00pm. After I drank the second bottle that day I perked up right away. No crash after bottle #2 thanks to a power nap between 2:00 and 3:00.
Just to make sure that the second non-crash bottle wasn't a fluke, I waited a few days and drank my third sample on a Saturday afternoon. Guess what? No crash. And a feel-good energy boost. All good on this energy drink. My only complaint is that when you tear the packaging, the hole is way too small and you have to coax the powder out of it. Not a big deal, at home I used scissors, but a little pain in the posterior if your out on the road.
So, long story short, I would definitely recommend Q Energy Drink to you if you enjoy the more sugary versions for the boost, if you lead an active lifestyle (it contains Vitamins A, C, D, E, B6, ginseng and ginko biloba among others, all good stuff), or to have on hand when you need a little pick-me-up. I know that I will purchase more of this product.
Where can you get your own sample? Head over to their website at qenergydrink.com and click on 'BUY Q'. You'll see the free sample pack. There is a $3.00 shipping fee, but as of this post they will give you a 15% discount on your first order with them. Not a bad deal considering they offer free shipping on regular orders across Canada.
Product pricing is very good. You can purchase single packets for $1.95, a 10-pack (single flavor) for $18.95 ($1.90 ea), a 20-pack (two flavors) for $35.90 ($1.80 ea) or a 40-pack mixer for $61.95 (1.55 ea). They also offer an auto-ship program, details are scant on the website, but they promise an even greater savings on the posted price.
Compare that to the canned sugar rush drinks you've been guzzling and the prices seem extremely fair, even if you factor in your own water bottle. If you use a re-useable bottle, it's even better.
Product Rating: 5 smiles out of 5
Product Website: qenergydrink.com
Product Type: energy drink
Product Origin: Canada
All opinions expressed in this blog are my own, unbiased after testing the product. The product was offered free of charge with no expectation of a review, favorable or otherwise.
If I wrote a list of my top ten pet peeves, asshole drivers in one form or another would probably make up 70% of that list. Today I'm going to rant about people who feel the need to clamp onto my rear bumper and ride it the whole way.
I absolutely hate, hate, hate people who tailgate. There is no reason for it. Let's put aside the fact that it's really dumb and dangerous, it's just plain annoying. Often, you'll get the exact opposite effect of what you're trying to accomplish. You're up someone's ass because you want them to go faster (I guess), but more often than not, you'll just make the driver in front of you nervous or pissed and they'll slow down. I know I do, just to piss you off. Although sometimes I think that maybe it's just the sheep mentality or they maybe haven't mastered the art of setting their own speed rather than following the car in front. However, both of those can be remedied by leaving a little space between you and the car in front.
I have to admit that I am guilty of this on rare occasions. Since I started working closer to home and don't deal with 2+ hours of traffic each day, I have become a much calmer driver, and generally I let things go. However, there are some circumstances where I find myself riding someone's ass. One excellent example is driving in the left-most lane of a five lane highway, such as the 401, and being stuck behind someone driving 100 km/h. I understand that's the limit, but you have to understand that you're in the fast lane, also known as the passing lane, and there is absolutely no reason for you to be there. So, having fully disclosed my own guilt in this area, I will list the times when you should back off and relax a little.
1) Single lane roads. Yes, it does suck when you're stuck behind someone who wants to drive limit or just below on these roads and you don't have another lane to get into, but they are well within their rights and you just have to deal with it or pass using the oncoming lane. Being a douche will not make them drive any faster. Along the same lines, if you're the second car behind the slow driver, do you really think that sitting on the bumper of the car in front of yours will give him the ability to go any faster? Maybe they'll finally learn how to leap frog so that you can put the petal to the metal? I guess it's possible, but not very probable.
2) The right lane. I'm including regular city roads and highways here. There is absolutely never any reason for tailgating in this situation. You have another lane to pass the slowpoke, and if your turn or exit is coming up, tough shit. Relax a little, you'll get there. I have had this happen to me more often that I'd like to recount. I generally drive about 15 km/hr over the limit and I'm almost always in the right lane. Although it doesn't seem that many people are taught that anymore, I was, and for me the left lane, whether on the 401 or Steeles, is for passing or getting ready to make a left turn. I absolutely hate looking in the rearview and seeing not the front end of a vehicle, but your front seat when I'm driving a decent speed in the right lane.
3) Emergency vehicles, large trucks and motorcycles. Emergency vehicles such as ambulances and fire trucks need their space, as you never know when the emergency call will come and they may need to back up and turn around to get there. Stop being selfish and think for a moment that it could be your child's life in danger and seconds may make a difference. As for large trucks, that's more about your safety than theirs. Take a look at that truck - he's a lot bigger and stronger than you are. If he kicks back or if a tire or anything else flies off of the back end of it, you have a lot more time to maneuver out of harm's way if there's some space behind his back and your front end. Motorcycles. I just cannot understand this one. I cringe whenever I see this. You do understand that there is a possibility that they'll hit a rock or pothole and fall? How are you going to feel for the rest of your life knowing you ran over and killed a man just because you insisted on driving too closely and could not swerve when he got into a bit of trouble.
I hope that if you are one of those people who feel it's necessary to smell my farts as you drive, you'll think twice. You are not the only person on the road, and although we'd all like to be able to drive as fast as we want, that's just not the case. More and more vehicles are on the road every year, and unfortunately, more and more drivers either are not trained properly, or can't be bothered to even try to drive properly and courteously. We also have quite the aging population who feel that driving themselves is integral to maintaining their independence. As long as they can see, hear and their mental faculties are in order, there's nothing wrong with that, we'll just have to take it easy and slow down the pace. I am neither elderly nor on a motorcycle nor am I a particularly slow driver, but I can tell you that I have way too many people driving way too closely on a regular basis, and I don't appreciate it.
**UPDATE 08/06/14** After an afternoon of treacherous driving during a downpour, I would also like to add this, which I am shocked that I forgot while entering the original post:
4) Inclement Weather. Vision and stopping times are both impaired when road conditions are less than ideal. Let's face it, we live in Canada, and we get more than our fair share of crappy weather. It doesn't matter how fantastic your snow tires are, you still need to leave some space between your bumpers! Snow and ice are incredibly slippery and difficult to stop on. Rain causes ponding which can lead to hydroplaning. These are situations where a little extra space can and often does make the difference. You will not get there any faster by riding the person in front of you's bumper. In fact, it may be quite the opposite - you could potentially rear end them, and then it will take you much longer to get to where you were going.
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