Definitely a time to be safe

Jan. 18, 2013 @ 05:00 AM

We have discussed the need before.

But, with rain and winter weather in the area, now is a good time for a refresher.

As people make their way on to Rutherford County roadways today, there may be the possibility of ice, snow or other treacherous conditions.

With that in mind, we think it is more imperative for drivers to be extra cautious on the road.

AAA Carolinas offers great tips on proper driving in winter weather conditions:

• Increase your following distance from 3-4 seconds to 8-10 seconds. On dry pavement at 20 mph it takes about 20 feet to stop. On ice-covered roads at 25 degrees, it takes 145 feet to stop - seven times further. Keep your speed appropriate to the needed stopping distance.

• Brake gradually with steady pressure on the brake. If you begin to skid, steer in the direction you want to go. If you do not have anti-lock brakes, gently depress the brake pedal. Do not slam on your brakes; it can cause you to lose control. If the brakes lock, release the brake and gently brake again while keeping your heel on the floor. This is known as "threshold braking." Depress brake pedal again and repeat process until you regain control.

• Avoid using cruise control in slick or snowy conditions.

• Be careful crossing bridges and overpasses as these freeze before the regular roadway.

• Keep your lights on. Using your headlights improves visibility, both yours and other drivers.

Whether you are traveling to the grocery store, doctor's appointment or across the county, paying attention is another key factor in driving safe.

You have to give yourself plenty of time on the road to get to your destination, so don't wait until the last minute to prepare.

If there is no snow, that doesn't mean you have the opportunity to drive as you normally would.

There has been a significant amount of rain in Rutherford County over the last few days and that can also create flooding in low-lying areas, slick spots on the road and water on the highway.

Any and all of those things can create a driving hazard.

So, where ever your destination might be, we urge you to be careful, plan ahead and just be smart about how you are driving.

What you do can effect yourself as well as others around you.

By Matthew Clark, for the Editorial Board


The Daily Courier Editorial Board consists of community members Jerry Brewer, Kyle Bingham, Tom Padgett, Dr. Shermaine Surratt and Cliff Strassenburg as well as Editor Matthew Clark