Winter driving means safety, planning foremost

Superiorland drivers awoke Monday morning to windshields that needed to be scraped and roads that needed to be navigated – carefully.

Although the National Weather Service tells us the skies will be sunny Wednesday and temperatures a moderate 45, winter is here.

If history holds, as area drivers learn to acclimate themselves to slippery roads and limited visibility, there will be a modest spike in the number of weather-related fender accidents during the first few weeks of this newly christened snow season.

Here, then, are a handful of common sense driving tips endorsed by the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration, among others:

– Steer into a skid

– Know what your brakes will do: stomp on antilock brakes, pump non-antilock brakes

– Stopping distances are longer on watercovered ice

– Don’t idle for a long time with the windows up or in an enclosed space

– Buckle up and use child safety seats properly

– Never place a rear-facing infant seat in front of an air bag

– Children 12 and under are much safer in the back seat

– Drugs and alcohol never mix with driving

– Slow down and increase distances between cars

– Keep your eyes open for pedestrians walking in the road

– Avoid fatigue. Get plenty of rest before the trip, stop at least every three hours, and rotate drivers if possible

– If you are planning to drink, designate a sober driver.

Remember, as OSHA says, prepare for the trip, protect yourself and prevent crashes on the road.