It’s the time of year when snow can fall suddenly and in large amounts. There have already been a couple false alarms. Every winter, Vermillion institutes an unusual parking policy for many of the streets south of the university. The policy alternates which side of the street can be used for parking based on even and odd numbered days.
Alternating parking on the street allows road crews to effectively clear snow during the winter months. Motorists should take note of these parking rules and should follow other common-sense rules for driving and parking during the winter.
While alternating which side of the street cars are parked on helps the city remove snow from the roads, the most effective way to help the streets get cleared — and to protect your car from being hit by a plow — is to move your car off the street when it starts snowing. If you have a driveway or know someone with spare parking, then move your car off the road.
Many times, cars left on the road during snowstorms get trapped by snow compacted by passing plows. Your car is also far less likely to get hit by an out-of-control vehicle if it’s not on the street. Do the city and yourself a favor by getting off the street.
People will not always be able to get their cars off the street before a snowstorm, thus it is highly advisable for everyone to keep supplies in the car that can be used to dig out a stuck car. Jumper cables, ice scrapers, shovels, cat litter, tow chain, blankets, flashlights and high-energy non-perishable foods are just a few things the South Dakota Safety Council recommends motorists keep in their vehicles during the winter.
Even more caution should be taken while driving on snowy roads. When snowfall is expected to be heavy, roads may be closed and you’re better off not trying to drive except during emergencies. If you must drive, do so at a lower speed and give right-of-way to emergency vehicles — especially plows.
It doesn’t matter if you drive a sports car or a four-wheel-drive truck, every precaution should be taken when the snow starts to fall. Choose parking spots considerately and keep the proper winter gear in your vehicle so everyone can escape the winter season free of vehicular damage and personal injury.