New Castle News

January 3, 2013

Our Opinion: Recent snowfalls may be pretty to look at, but also pose risks

By Staff
New Castle News

NEW CASTLE — We think it’s safe to say that winter has officially arrived in Lawrence County.

Perhaps it’s the plummeting temperatures, or all that white stuff lying around. But we think the evidence is overwhelming.

And it may be a bit disconcerting, particularly for motorists or folks who have to shovel sidewalks and driveways. After all, last winter caused barely a ripple around here. While there were a few modest snowfalls, the season was remarkable for its unusually mild temperatures and lack of precipitation.

Now, with about a foot of snow on the ground, local residents are getting a reminder of what real winter looks like.

All of this snow indeed has its charms, and one of the joys of living in western Pennsylvania is the change of seasons. Plus, if you appreciate such activities as sledding and cross-country skiing, current conditions are ideal.

Yet while people may have varied opinions about winter and snow, we think it’s worthwhile for motorists to keep the risks in mind.

Here at the New Castle News, we couldn’t help but notice the frequency of accidents that have accompanied this year’s snowfalls. Although most of these did not lead to injury, they certainly produced inconvenience — not only for those involved, but for other drivers trying to get around them.

It may be that last year’s lack of snow tended to spoil people into downplaying the impact of bad roads during snowstorms. For instance, the snow came down so hard and so fast the day after Christmas that it was impossible for road crews to keep up with it.

In short, snow is pretty, but it also can be pretty dangerous for traffic. Motorists need to take care when roads are bad, especially when they haven’t had much experience lately traveling in icy conditions.

And, of course, it always makes sense to pay attention to weather warnings and try to avoid driving when conditions are bad.

Still, we know that staying home is not always possible. Getting from Point A to Point B — for work, school and other purposes — is an essential part of modern life. But the old advice about taking your time and being aware of conditions is especially important this time of year.

Let’s be careful out there.