Safer winter driving is worth the cost

Every time the snow falls and the winter winds howl across Michigan, our state’s roads become treacherous.
Dec 31, 2013

The news is dominated by reports of multiple-car pileups, dozens of slide-offs and, in worst-case scenarios, deadly crashes.

A new technology currently being tested in Michigan could help make our daily commutes a bit safer during the winter months.

Michigan is one of four states that is testing the Pikalert Enhanced Maintenance Decision Support System (EMDSS). Funded by the U.S. Department of Transportation, the technology features sensors put on snowplows in an attempt to continually measure road and weather conditions. This allows road crews to concentrate their efforts on clearing and salting the most dangerous stretches of roads at any given time.

The technology isn’t cheap — but, in our eyes, the cost is worth it if it helps make travel in our great state a little bit safer.

We’ve all canceled a trip across the state during the winter months rather than risking a white-knuckle drive through treacherous stretches on the highways. Our state’s winter tourism would receive a boost if travelers had more faith that their route would be clear of snow and ice.

And any cost is worth saving the lives that are lost each year during winter travel.

We’re hopeful the EMDSS passes its tests this winter and leads to safer winter travel across Michigan for years to come.

Our Views reflects the majority opinion of the members of the Grand Haven Tribune editorial board: Kevin Hook, Cheryl Welch, Matt DeYoung, Alex Doty 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.



treacherous: guilty of or involving betrayal or deception. I am not sure if this is the proper word to use for what happens when it snows and you drive your car.
There is nothing that can prevent poor driving or bad equipment, such as following too close, driving too fast and using "summer" tires in the winter.
"All Season" tires are a compromise in ALL SEASONS!
There is no system in the world that will make driving in the winter perfectly safe. You must have the knowledge, the skill and the proper equipment to do it in a safe manner. You cannot expect someone else or some fancy system to make it safe for you!
Like all the other "systems" that have been required on cars lately, stability control, traction control, and anti-lock brakes. Unfortunately, they forgot one of the easiest, and interlock that turns on the headlights if it is bad enough to need wipers!
The most important safe factor in any vehicle is the driver, not the car or what "system" has been applied to the road! We do nothing after the driver gets their hands on a license, and that is usually taught at 15 years old!
"Slide Offs" are not routine! They are an indication of poor driving and poor equipment!
Do Not Blame It On The Road Or The Fact That There Is Snow! Just get out of my way with your bad tires!


adjective \ˈtre-chə-rəs, ˈtrech-rəs\

: not able to be trusted : showing that someone cannot be trusted

: very dangerous and difficult to deal with

GH55 you have been schooled by the Merriam-Webster dictionary. Get your ignorant self out of my way!

Tri-cities realist

Newsflash... Daytime running lights have been standard on cars for years.


must be that MI is full of terrible drivers...not all winter states use salt, and have better driving conditions. Salt turns the roads to slush which is more slippery and causes more accidents then snow alone. Before all the yahoo's spaz out, salt is needed....maybe twice a year (or 4 time this winter).

Another issue with salt is that when it melts snow and the temp is below freezing, it gets into the pores of the road and adventually freezes...what happens to water when it freezes???? YOU GET POT HOLES!!!

Start using more SAND and LESS SALT!!! or MOVE TO Floriduh

Post a Comment

Log in to your account to post comments here and on other stories, galleries and polls. Share your thoughts and reply to comments posted by others. Don't have an account on Create a new account today to get started.