CLEVELAND - Winter driving in Northeast Ohio can be a challenge. You know why: the ice, the snow, the fog, how Cleveland motorists get distracted by the way Gordon Lightfoot really captured a lost moment in time in "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald." That's why we need rules for how to drive in Cleveland when it snows in the winter.
Do yourself and your fellow drivers a favor and...
1. Brush ALL the snow from your car. Even the roof.
The leftover snow can blow back to the car behind you when you're driving, causing a sudden lack of visibility for your fellow motorists who actually took the time to clean off their cars like responsible human beings. Be the driver you want to see in the world.
2. Don't tailgate.
When you tailgate someone your chances of rear-ending them on icy, slick roads goes up significantly. Then you have to do that awkward thing where you exchange insurance cards and phone numbers and by the way it's 8 degrees outside and you're wearing UGG slippers.
3. Accelerate and decelerate slowly.
When it snows, things like lane markers, signs and even street lights disappear. Take the extra time to slow down so you are not surprised by the sudden appearance of a safety marker you were meant to see from 500 feet away.
4. Drive up and down hills at the speed of, say, a librarian.
You know how a librarian would drive. Sensibly. Efficiently. Steady. Basically, the opposite of the 16-year-old protagonist of a Bruce Springsteen song.
5. Give road crews and plows PLENTY of room.
Those men and women are out there busting their tails to keep the roads clean for all of us. Give anyone in a truck with flashing lights a buffer lane, if you can. They're the real heroes. Don't get in the way of heroes.
6. Spend the entire winter in Hilton Head.
It's the safest bet.
For winter driving tips from the Ohio Department of Transportation, go here. We think these tips from AAA are useful as well.