At last, the first real snowfall has graced Fort Collins! Although most students are crossing their fingers in anticipation of school being cancelled (don't hold your breath), the reality of the situation is that we will still have to wake up early, dust off our snow-covered vehicles and commute to campus for the next week and a half.
As frustrating as this is sure to be, winter weather means being more cautious on the road. According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) Web site, the leading cause of death during winter storms is transportation accidents. So even though you are rushing to make it to that much-anticipated final, we urge you to slow down and leave a few minutes earlier than usual to avoid accidents.
Preparation is the best form of avoidance in these road conditions. Some basic rules for winterizing your vehicles are easy to follow and may help deter any unnecessary problems:
o Check the age of your battery
o Fill antifreeze and windshield washer fluid
o Make sure lights, including hazard lights, work properly
o Install good winter tires
o Make sure brakes are working properly
o Check oil level
o Make sure the defroster and heater work properly
Another good idea for the winter months is to prepare a winter car kit equipped with flashlights with extra batteries, a first aid kit with pocketknife, necessary medications, blankets, extra warm clothes, booster cables, bottled water and food. A cell phone is also helpful this time of year, just in case.
With only seven school days left, it's time to suck it up and drive forward – even if that means trudging through the snow.