Traverse City Record-Eagle

Opinion

December 21, 2013

Another View: Time to adjust driving for winter conditions

It’s easy to look around these days and wonder if certain U.P. motorists have forgotten everything they may have known about driving on winter roads.

Now that Old Man Winter has officially reared his ugly side and covered our roads with snow and ice, it’s a good time to remind ourselves of a few ways to stay safe when getting from here to there.

Control your speed. It’s a good idea to stay at the posted limits or even slower, depending on conditions. It’s better to get somewhere late than end up injured or worse.

Never use cruise control on slippery surfaces. If your tires start to slip you can end up in a spin with little or no control.

Take care of your tires by making sure there is enough tread and that the air pressure is at the right level. Your tires are the only connection your vehicle makes with the road.

Wear a seat belt. You may be the best driver on the roads, but you’re not alone out there so be mindful of other motorists.

Keep certain supplies in your vehicle. It’s a good idea to have an ice scraper/snow brush, sand or kitty litter (to get free from being stuck), blankets, an emergency food and water supply and a first aid kit. Better safe than sorry.

Keep your gas level above half a tank or use an antifreeze like Heet to help keep your lines from freezing.

Also, never warm up your vehicle in a closed garage. It can fill with carbon monoxide and put you in danger.

Allow extra space between your vehicle and the ones around you. It can take up to 10 times longer to stop in slippery conditions.

Lastly, think about staying home. If the conditions are really that bad, decide whether going out is completely necessary.

Taking precautions and being prepared can make a big difference on our dangerous U.P. roadways.

The Mining Journal, Marquette

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