A vehicle inches its way down a hill in the 100 block of South Liberty Street in Port Angeles after snow coated much of the North Olympic Peninsula on Thursday morning. Unsettled weather and chilly conditions are forecast into next week. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)

A vehicle inches its way down a hill in the 100 block of South Liberty Street in Port Angeles after snow coated much of the North Olympic Peninsula on Thursday morning. Unsettled weather and chilly conditions are forecast into next week. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)

Editorial: Snow-covered reminder to drive for conditions

Snow will blow off of your vehicle as you drive — right into the face of the driver behind you!

We had a big snow-covered reminder this week about slowing down and driving for conditions.

We imagine tire shops will be busy over the next few weeks as people reconsider the value of having winter tires.

This storm was particularly bad for people sliding off the road or more seriously, rolling over. Perhaps it was that this was the first major snowstorm of the year and folks haven’t gotten into the snow driving groove yet. Things to remember: slow down for conditions.

It seems like it should go without saying that you can’t go as quickly on the roadway when there’s a layer of snow covering it, but some drivers still don’t seem to have gotten the memo. Those in large vehicles or vehicles equipped with four wheel drive seem to have a false sense of security about what they can handle, and seem to forget that others on the road are driving vehicles without these amenities. A healthy dose of caution won’t steer you wrong. An abundance of fishtailing pickup trucks proves that point.

There are other considerations in the snow as well, before you set foot in your vehicle.

How many people saw vehicles coming down the road with nothing but a tiny patch cleared on the front windshield on the driver’s side for someone behind the wheel to peer from? There always seem to be a few.

Less egregious, but still a hazard, are those who set out with drifts of snow still clinging to the roof and hood of the car, with only the windows cleared. Yes, these cakes of snow will blow off of your vehicle as you drive — right into the face of the driver behind you! That’s if the iceberg on your roof doesn’t slide down onto your own windshield the first time you hit the brakes. Or block the rear window.

It’s worth the few extra minutes it takes to completely clear your vehicle of snow. If nothing else, the other drivers on the road will thank you for it — or at least not swear at you as they scramble to clear your snow off their windshield.

Then of course there’s the simple question you can ask yourself: do I need to go out right now?

Last week’s storm was forecast well in advance, and while weather is always a little bit believe it when you see it, we can mostly plan to avoid driving when the roads are likely to be really poor. Employers can look at letting people work from home on snow days, or keep an eye out and let people leave early. It’s less costly both to your wallet and your conscience to help make sure your employees get home safe.

If you’re not working? Just stay home.

Editorials

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