Let’s heed travel advisories this winter

As winter continues to roll on, the odds are North Dakotans will face more adverse weather, storms that might or might not follow their predicted paths and high winds that can make even sitting snow dangerous.

With the rough winter weather will come more travel alerts from the Department of Transportation and the Highway Patrol.

Even lifelong drivers well accustomed to our weather and road conditions are advised to please heed these warnings, to make plans and travel responsibly.

Every year it seems there are stories of motorists losing their personal battles with bad weather conditions. Every year it seems local police have to advise Minot drivers to get off the roads in blizzard conditions. Not doing so inevitably puts pressure on emergency first responders, complicates efforts to keep roads clear and places others in danger. Even the most legitimately experienced driver can fall victim to sudden changes in conditions – or other, lesser drivers.

When the times come, stay off the roads when advised to, for the sake of everyone. Don’t take unnecessary chances and don’t trust that the storm being talked up in media is definitely going to strike to our east instead of right on top of us. If there is a consistency with any aspect of our weather, it is that it is unpredictable.

The state and media do a good job here of alerting people to potential danger. The impetus is thus on the rest of us to heed warnings.

Let’s play it smart out there when it gets ugly. The life you save might be your own – or it might be someone else’s.

In either case, smart precautions are well worth the inconvenience.