Slow down!

A rash of wintry weather and the inevitable rash of automobile crashes that always follow serve as a worthwhile reminder that, with another month of winter ahead of us, drivers must take extra care on the roads.
Feb 15, 2013


A few weeks ago, a Muskegon man was killed on U.S. 31 when his car became lodged beneath a semitrailer. Days later, a jackknifed semi on the same stretch of highway tied up traffic for an hour.

Nine semis and a dozen cars were recently involved in a crash along westbound I-94 near Paw Paw in Van Buren County, closing the highway during a wicked winter storm.

It’s easy to pick on semi drivers, because they’re responsible for the largest vehicles on the road. And when they’re involved in crashes, they inevitably do much more damage than a small passenger car would cause.

Many drivers have had the “white knuckle” experience of traveling at slow speeds on highways during times of icy roads and terrible visibility, only to have a semi barrel pass, compounding the whiteout and further giving semis a bad name.

These drivers, and all of us, need to realize that being safe is more important than getting there on time.

We all need to slow down, keep a safe distance behind the vehicle ahead of us and, when the weather turns particularly nasty, stay off the roads if at all possible.

And by all means, turn your headlights on. It’s scary, and very dangerous, to come up on a vehicle in a whiteout and see that the driver doesn’t even have the vehicle’s lights on.

If you are ever involved in one of these chain-reaction crashes, take the advice offered by public safety officials — stay inside your car with your seatbelt on and call 911. Police warn motorists not to go outside to check the damage. That simply puts them in more danger.

Our Views reflects the majority opinion of the members of the Grand Haven Tribune editorial board: Kevin Hook, Cheryl Welch, Matt DeYoung and Fred VandenBrand. What do you think? E-mail us a letter to the editor to or log-in to our website and leave a comment below.



Every year, all manner of communications are out there reminding us that when it snows it is slippery. Why do "we" need to be reminded?
Almost every weather broadcast describes how "scary" and "white knuckle" the driving experience will be. Perhaps if you are that scared, you should not be out there.
Another item is also mentioned in this article: do what ever it takes to make the driving better, turn on your lights, put down the phone, clean the snow off the car, put good tires on the car.
One item that has been perpetrated on the American driving public is the concept of "All Season" tires. In my opinion, All Season is a compromise in All Seasons. Get some snow tires! They are worth every penny!
Additionally, back off! Slow down! Usee your turn signals, before you are already in the turn lane, and before you are already slamming on the brakes! Let people know what you are GOING to do, NOT what you ARE ALREADY DOING! Make it obvious.
Grasp the steering wheel with two hands! Merely draping your left wrist over the top of the wheel, is not effective.
If you are late, that is your fault, not those around you! If the light turns yellow, stop, when its red, you should already be stopped! Read the law!
Driving in the snow can be fun and challenging, if you are doing it well, paying attention and not handicapping yourself with poor equipment, poor visibility, and poor attentiveness!
My fianl item is one of advice, figure out how your car works! Go to a deserted parking lot and see what the antilock brakes do, try to get the car to slide, see how it reacts. If you don't play with it you will not know what is going on in an emergency! Practice, practice, practice!


Well said GH55,People have to realize common sense isn't an app you can download,So drive for the conditions.


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