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Daily News Editorial

By Staff | Nov 7, 2008

We know. You’ve heard it before. And yet it never fails that when the first snow flies we all find ourselves caught short by Old Man Winter.

With the first snows predicted for today, we should all realize that one of the first things we need to do is SLOW DOWN. Snow and ice mean less traction and that means a greater likelihood of having a rear-end collision with another vehicle.

While a two-second rule applies to dry pavement, it’s better to apply a four- or even a six-second rule to driving on snow-slick roads. That means when the vehicle ahead of you passes a certain point, make sure you can count at least four seconds before you reach the same point.

How are your tires? Bald tires greatly decrease your stopping ability. So get that vehicle into the shop as soon as you can and make sure you have enough tread. A quick way of checking is to insert a penny inside the groove on your tire. The penny should go in at least as far as the top of Lincoln’s head.

Also make sure your wipers are working. Snow and ice can present particularly difficult problems when you’re driving. So have your auto serviceperson check out your wipers now.

If you don’t have a windshield scraper, get one now. It’s a real good idea to get one that has a brush on it too for snow.

Give yourself an extra 10 minutes whenever you go anywhere. You’ll need that much time to let your car warm up enough to defrost your windshield and to compensate for extra time on the road.

And whatever you do, even if you’re late for an important appointment, don’t take chances when you’re driving. If you think it’s aggravating to follow that person ahead of you who is taking time to be careful, just think of how much time it takes to plan a funeral.