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Column: Take extra caution driving during winter

The winter season should bring an extra attention to safety for motorists. With slippery roads and virtual white-out conditions commonplace in recent days, we all need to be sure to take additional care and time in getting from point A to point B.

It’s always important to be safe and attentive when driving — keep to the speed limit and, for gosh sakes, never text while driving — but if there’s any area where I think we could never be too careful on the streets, it’s driving near schools. This was brought up to me Monday by a co-worker who pointed out how dangerous she thinks the intersection at Oxford Street and Crailsheim Road, near Worthington Middle School, is.

As some regular Globe readers may remember, we published a story shortly after school began last August about the crosswalk at Crailsheim and Oxford. At the time, WMS principal Jeff Luke noted that conditions at the intersection had “greatly improved” thanks to installation of the new walking and bike path. We certainly don’t doubt that; students walking to school almost always used the edge of the roadway beforehand.

While the path has certainly helped, though, it hasn’t changed the fact that students still cross a busy intersection in getting to and from school. I can’t help but think of children, worried that they’re going to be late in the morning, scurrying across the street in the darkness, perhaps in an extra hurry if only because it’s so dang cold out. I drive in that area nearly every Friday morning and always try to keep an extra lookout for that scenario — and I’d readily admit that I’m not exactly a consistent role model when it comes to being behind the wheel. (At least that’s what my wife tells me.)

My point is this: Each driver should be that much more attentive in wintertime, considering the varying conditions. Whether it’s near stopped school buses or busy intersections, take time to avoid a tragedy.

Ryan McGaughey

I first joined the Daily Globe in April 2001 as sports editor. I later became the news editor in November 2002, and the managing editor in August 2006. I'm originally from New York State, and am married with two children.

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