Tahlequah Daily Press


February 5, 2014

When there’s ice on the road, slow down – and stay home if you can

TAHLEQUAH — It may be a couple more months before reliably decent weather returns to Cherokee County, and for many of us, it can’t happen soon enough.

But since we have no control over Mother Nature, the best we can do is adjust our schedules and habits to conform to its quirks. That means when ice and snow are on the streets and highways as they’ve been this week, drivers have to slow down, keep an eye on fellow travelers, and make sure their vehicles are equipped to handle the hazard.

Historically, Oklahoma drivers have logged some of the worst records in the nation. This means we often pay higher premiums than residents of other states. It’s not because we’re stupid or especially aggressive on the roads, but some of us do tend to overestimate our ability to handle inclement weather conditions, and therefore we drive too fast. We also tend to tailgate.

That’s not the only trouble. Our streets and highways aren’t in as good a condition as those in some other states that typically get ice and snow, and our smaller cities don’t have the equipment to adequately clear the streets. Since most of our winters are mild, and many of us have modest incomes, we tend to delay buying new tires even when the ones we have are nearly bald. And we no longer have to submit to annual vehicle inspections, which means some of our vehicles are in disrepair.

But we owe it to ourselves, and our fellow Cherokee Countians, to take extra precautions on the road – especially during a winter like this one, which is bringing us more ice and snow than we typically have. The street and highway departments can only do so much; the rest is up to us.

Keep your vehicles and tires in good condition, even if you have to eat ramen noodles for a while to afford it. Make sure your insurance is paid in full, and it’s a good idea to have uninsured motorist coverage. Keep blankets, a flashlight, a first aid kit and maybe even some snacks in your vehicle, in case you break down and get stranded.

Leave early if you have somewhere to go – and if you don’t, stay home. Slow down, and drive defensively. Begin braking well before you think you have to. If you start skidding, turn your steering wheel into the slide. Make sure your kids understand crossing the street requires extra vigilance.

Yes, it’s inconvenient, and maybe more expensive. But remember, even a fender-bender can give your insurance company an excuse to send your premiums sky-high. Worse yet, you could lose your life, or take someone else’s. Impatience and carelessness just aren’t worth the price you may pay.

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  • NSU needs to be more candid when its plans go awry

    Many area residents were disappointed to learn this week that the NSU Fitness Center, and its all-important indoor lap pool, won’t open next month, as originally announced.
    This latest delay is no surprise.

    July 28, 2014

  • Higher premiums a just reward for drunken drivers

    Over the past several years, Oklahoma has slipped in many of the polls that count. This week, we learned Tulsa is No. 4 on a list of cities with high rates of fatal DUI accidents. Is anyone really surprised?

    July 25, 2014

  • Maybe it’s time to think about having another BalloonFest

    The 18th annual BalloonFest was the last one held, in 2010. In summer 2011, when the Daily Press staff hadn’t heard anything about the much-anticipated event, we started asking questions.

    July 23, 2014

  • If you see a drunken driver, take the time to call in a report

    If you see something, say something. You’ve heard the warning, and seen it imprinted on placards at airports. In the wake of 9/11, it became a national mantra, mainly aimed at spotting potential terrorist activities. But it’s good advice anytime, and for any reason, even at the local level.

    July 14, 2014

  • City officials should stop squabbling and try to work together

    It’s bad enough that the Chamber of Commerce scandal has given Tahlequah a black eye. But if the bickering among city officials doesn’t stop, the community will have a complete set of shiners for its public face.

    July 11, 2014

  • Only full disclosure will restore trust in the chamber

    Despite pressure from some quarters, neither the Press nor anyone else who values full disclosure will be clamming up until all the facts are known, and those who are responsible meet with justice.

    July 10, 2014

  • Only full disclosure will restore trust in the chamber

    A few board members for the Tahlequah Area Chamber of Commerce are saying they’ve heard nothing but positive things lately – about the chamber itself, and presumably, about themselves.

    July 9, 2014

  • Employer-sponsored insurance may now be a ‘hostage’ situation

    When the fallout settles from the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision, many Americans might decide they’re better off with health insurance that doesn’t come from their boss.

    July 7, 2014

  • With confidence in Congress at 7 percent, time for a new slate

    Note to Congress: We don’t like you. Not at all.
    A Gallup poll released Monday, June 30 confirmed what most of us already know: the American public is disgusted with the House and Senate. The survey recorded the lowest level of confidence since Gallup began asking the question in 1991: a whopping 7 percent. That’s not a typographical error; it’s a single digit.

    July 2, 2014

  • New chamber head needs to be free from scandal’s taint

    Every time another layer is peeled off the unfolding saga of the Tahlequah Area Chamber of Commerce embezzlement case, those going through the records hope they might see a light at the end of the tunnel. So far, that hasn’t happened.

    June 30, 2014


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