Originally created 01/25/00

Use common sense when driving in snow



Whether you wake up today to four inches of snow or merely wet roads, Augusta area officials are encouraging all motorists to use extreme caution.

"Common sense has to dictate here," said Lt. Tim Pearson of the North Augusta Department of Public Safety. "If you don't have to get out and about, don't drive."

Morning rush hour could present commuters with some very icy roads, amplifying the need for care and patience.

"If a person's job dictates they have to be their in the morning, they have to give themselves a little more time and leave earlier to give themselves more time so they aren't hurried," Lt. Pearson said.

While the danger of icing comes with every road, drivers on bridges, overpasses and streets not frequently traveled need to pay extra attention to the surfaces of the roads, said Chief Deputy Ronald Strength of the Richmond County Sheriff's Department.

"We want everybody to be very careful and cautious because a lot of times people can't see ice on the roads," he said.

Quick braking by motorists also needs to be avoided when roads are either icy or snow-covered.

"When you lock your tires up, you're going to skid in the direction you're going and you're not going to be able to turn," Lt. Pearson said.

"Whereas if you apply the brakes to what we call maximum rolling friction, which is where the wheels are still rolling to the brink of locking up, you will actually be able to slow down quicker and be able to steer your vehicle."

Reach Mark Mathis at (706) 823-3227 or marmathis@yahoo.com.