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The Suburbanite
  • Snow is back; don’t let it throw you

  • The issue: First day of winter

    Our view: Winter driving isn’t rocket science, but it’s easy to neglect basics

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  • The issue: First day of winter
    Our view: Winter driving isn’t rocket science, but it’s easy to neglect basics
    Like a guest who dawdles and discovers that the party has gone on just fine without him, winter took its good old time getting to Stark County last year. Then it made only a token appearance before it was muscled out by an early spring.
    But apparently it has learned its lesson.
    This year, the snow came right on time Friday, on the first day of winter. And while sunshine is supposed to soften the blow of temperatures in the 30s early next week, we may as well face the fact that winter and winter driving are realities we’ll have to live with for the next few months.
    The timing of the first bad weather is unfortunate, coupled as it is with last-minute Christmas shopping. Not only are drivers more distracted than usual, but there are a heck of a lot more of us out there on the roads, tying up loose holiday ends.
    So it’s worth taking a minute to remind yourself of the basics of winter driving before you go out into the thick of it. Here are some tips, courtesy of the Ohio Department of Transportation:
    •Before leaving home, find out about driving conditions at www.BuckeyeTraffic.org. You also can follow ODOT on Facebook and Twitter.
    •See and be seen — remove any snow on your vehicle’s windows, lights, brake lights and signals.
    •Leave plenty of time to reach your destination safely. It’s not worth putting yourself and others in a dangerous situation just to be on time.
    • If you need to turn on your wipers, turn on your headlights. It’s the law.
    None of this is rocket science, but it’s easy to neglect one or more of these tasks, especially once you get used to driving on messy roads again. Just remember that one of the best ways to make the most of winter in Stark County is to be mindful of your safety, and the safety of others, when you drive.