Be careful; pay attention when driving this week

Staff Editorial

We hope we’re not beating a dead horse here by asking everyone to be prepared for severe weather.

We already survived the “snow-pocalypse” that happened this past weekend, but just because the snow passed doesn’t mean we can let our guard down.

According to the National Weather Service in Lincoln, a weak weather system will produce patchy freezing drizzle Monday night and into Tuesday morning, which will mean that untreated roads and sidewalks will be icy and slick.

Also, areas of fog are expected Tuesday morning, and on top of that there is supposed to be a mix of freezing rain and snow later Wednesday night and Thursday morning.

Not to mention, it’s going to be cold. That goes without saying, though.

The big takeaway from all of this is that there will most likely be patches of ice on sidewalks and in the roads.

That’s why we are begging you to please be prepared for this and watch what you’re doing.

The Illinois Department of Transportation has a list of driving tips on its website to keep in mind when driving in snow and ice conditions.

Some of the tips include avoiding using cruise control in snow and ice, don’t crowd the plow because the driver might not be able to see you and, of course, slow down.

According to the website, slower speeds, slower acceleration, slower steering and slower braking are required in winter driving conditions. So you know, stop driving like you are a NASCAR driver or pretending it’s ‘Fast and Furious’ and drift. You will lose.

You should also keep salt, kitty litter or sand in your car to help your tires gain traction if your car is stuck in the snow.

On a side note, be sure to have an emergency kit in your car that contains jumper cables, flares or reflectors, a small ice scraper, blankets, non-perishable food, a first-aid kit, you get the picture. Also keep extra chargers for your phone in your car.

Trust us; we’ve been there, and it’s a nightmare being stranded without any way of getting ahold of someone.

Plus, we’re sure these are some of the things your parents shoved in your car when you first moved away and you forgot about, so congrats; you’re ahead of the game.

As for those of us taking our daily commute on foot, just be aware of your surroundings and be vigilant of ice.

One of the members on our editorial board said she remembers her grandmother or her Nana tell her to march like a penguin over ice so you don’t fall and crack your head open.

Listen to Nana; march like a penguin, flat-footed with your feet spread and arms free to keep your balance and you’ll be safe.

Or you can avoid all of that (if you have the option) and sprinkle salt or kitty litter on ice to melt it.