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Canadian Drivers Are Causing Accidents Because They’re Too Nice

Police in Prince Edward Island are warning their drivers to stop waving cars into opposing traffic because it’s the nice thing to do.

by Mack Lamoureux
10 July 2019, 4:36am

Photo via Pixabay.

North of the border there exists something we Canucks like to call the Canadian Standoff.

This standoff happens when two Canadians encounter some sort of bottleneck at the same time. For example's sake, let us say there is a door that two nice inhabitants of the great white north come to at the same time. They both stop, look at each other, and gesture for their compatriot to go through.

“Oh-ho, you first, my good sir,” says the first man. “Uh-uh, no, you, my man,” says the second. “Buh-bah, you go now, friendo,” responds the first. From here one will typically go through, the two will have a lil’ chuckle and the standoff will cease to be—it can at times continue onward into a Kafka-esque cycle of niceties but that’s a story for another time. Countless man-hours have been lost due to the Canadian standoffs.

The phenomenon is apparently out of control on the streets of Summerside, PEI, where there has been a rash of accidents. The accidents have been caused by people being too nice, say the city's police force. Apparently, drivers in Canada's smallest province have been yielding their right of way to others and unwittingly sending their fellow drivers to fender bender town. It’s gotten to the point that the police department had to issue a tweet discouraging drivers from yielding.

“Motorists, please don’t be the ‘nice person’ who waves a driver across 2 lanes of traffic,” reads a tweet sent by Summerside Police. “Although you may have good intentions, this leads to collisions!”

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The diagram tweeted out by Summerside Police.

They even included a nice little diagram of a nice little driver sending a nice little car right to its doom. Sgt. Jason Blacquiere of the police department told the Canadian Press that most of these accidents are taking place at busy intersections or parking lots.

"It's good intentions, I guess,” he told the outlet. “People are trying to be courteous to other drivers but they are unintentionally creating some very dangerous situations on the roads."

As the Canadian Press reported, this isn’t the first time the scourge of the nice islander has come to PEI. In 2016, the police chief of Charlottetown, the province’s capital, called out his city for being too nice after they caused several accidents in one week.

Blacquiere has said that being nice doesn’t save you from an impending lawsuit or getting slapped with a charge because you caused an accident. Thankfully, at the time of writing, no one has been killed or injured on account of these Canadian drivers unwittingly waving others into oncoming traffic.

If you want to follow a man who is not an overly nice maritimer, you can follow Mack on Twitter

This article originally appeared on VICE CA.