By John Focht
This winter has been a tough one with all the snow, the school closings, missed work time, shoveling, dealing with ice, and everything else. With still a few weeks of winter left, and plenty of time for more snow fall, keep these tips in mind to keep safe through these last few weeks with old man winter.
Shovel All Sidewalks and Walkways
It’s can be back-breaking work, but in addition to shoveling out your driveway, be sure to continue shoveling all sidewalks and walkways on your property too. You don’t want to force your neighbors to have to walk in the street when passing your house because you haven’t shoveled your front sidewalk.
Between kids trying to walk to and from the bus stop, people walking their dogs, and people just out for a leisurely walk, you need to shovel out your front sidewalk to provide them a spot to walk. Leaving the sidewalk snow-covered and un-shoveled is pretty irresponsible on your part.
If you are physically unable to shovel your sidewalk or driveway, find someone in the neighborhood you can help you out.
Salt Driveway and Walkways
Once you have finished shoveling, throw down some rock salt to keep the sidewalks and walkways from turning into a sheet of ice. If the sun is out during the day and the temperatures rise, the melted daytime snow will sure to freeze on your sidewalks overnight. If someone slips and falls on the ice on your property, you could be held financially responsible to cover any medical costs.
Don’t Throw Shoveled Snow into Streets
Be aware of where you are tossing the shoveled snow. Throw it onto the grass or off to the side, but don’t throw it back out in the streets. Mounds of snow tossed back out into the street can cause potential accidents with cars swerving to avoid the snow.
Don’t let Kids Sled Unsupervised into Streets
Sledding is one of the best ways to spend a winter day for kids. If the kids are sledding down a hill in the front yard, be sure there is some sort of supervision to ensure no one is sledding out into the street. Or if you are on a side street with very little traffic, be sure there is some sort of supervision out in the street as the kids sled down the front hill into the street.
This sounds like pretty obvious advice, but too many accidents occur because drivers can’t see the kids around the piles of snow, or worse, the driver is not paying attention.
We’ve all heard it, we’ve all said it, and we all pretty much ignore it, but drive smart through the winter conditions. Provide yourself extra time in the mornings to account for dealing with icy or snow covered roads. Give yourself plenty of distance between yourself and the car in front of you. And just slow down. The roads may appear fine, but on these cold mornings or cold evenings, and icy patch is always just around the corner, so you need to be in control of your car.