The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

December 27, 2012

Concentrate as snow falls


Commercial-News

DANVILLE — As the winter’s first significant snow fell on the area Wednesday, emergency crews stayed busy helping motorists out of one predicament or another.

Luckily, no serious injuries had been reported.

Anyone who has driven through a Midwestern winter knows the first snowfall means changes in driving routines become necessary. Yet so many seem to think they are immune from Mother Nature’s conditions and zip around like it’s 80 degrees, dry and clear.

Always give yourself extra time to reach your destination after a snowfall. Roads will be slick, which means slower speeds to keep everyone safe.

The extra time also prevents drivers from becoming distracted by the clock ticking away.

Driving in winter conditions requires complete focus by the person behind the steering wheel. Turn off the cell phone, or at least ignore it if it rings. And texting while driving never is a good idea, even in good weather.

With snow-covered streets, waiting until the last second to obey a stop sign can send a vehicle on a heart-thumping skid through an intersection and create potential problems not only for the driver, but for others on the road as well. Start that stop well in advance of the intersection to stay safe.

Giving yourself plenty of space away from other vehicles also can help prevent crashes. If someone else starts to lose control, you still have room to stop safely without becoming another name on the crash report.

Winter driving basically comes down to using common sense. Let’s hope there’s a lot of it to go around.