New Mexico drivers need to remember and practice the rules of safety when driving in adverse weather conditions, including rain, snow, and ice. Too often some drivers negligently disregard the conditions, fail to pay attention to the changing driving conditions, don’t allow themselves extra time to negotiate the adverse circumstances, or simply speed on ahead in all disregard of their safety and ours. As you take to the road in the winter, please remember you are not the only one on the road. Slow down at the first sign of snow, rain, or other inclement weather. Allow yourself extra time to reach your destination. Keep pace with traffic. Be aware of others on the roadway and anticipate that an emergency circumstance is more likely to arise; drive defensively. In short, as the risk of danger increases, so too does your duty to exercise reasonable care. Be a reasonable and safe driver.
This week Albuquerque got hit by its first major winter storm. The arctic blast left a layer of snow over much of the city and turned roads into sheets of ice for the first few hours of the morning on Friday. At first schools, businesses, and courts went on a delay, then they began to close for the day because the cold temperatures were turning the layer of fresh snow into ice. The City of Albuquerque and State of New Mexico Department of Transportation were hard pressed to keep up with the conditions. While some drivers stayed home or limited their driving, others took to the streets. I was one of those that took to the streets. I was scheduled to be a mediator on a case and there were going to be a number of people waiting on me and depending on me to keep the appointment.
I’ll admit, as I left my house I had a certain amount of anxiety about driving in the ice and snow. However, the greater weight of my anxiety came from my apprehension about other drivers, about their commitment to being safe in the adverse conditions.