With the winter weather being as rough as it has been these past few years around Clarksville, it’s time to incorporate better methods of keeping roads and schools snow-free.

Mother nature can be somewhat predictable. With today’s advancements in forecasting, meteorologists often can provide rough estimate as to what weather we are about to face. As much as everyone prepares, however, are there other guidelines our city could follow to further ensure the safety of its people and prevent mass closings of schools and local businesses?

Missing a week of school, while relaxing, is disruptive to our classes and learning process. Missing one day of classes as a college student is the equivalent of missing about a week’s worth of high school classes. This puts a huge strain on students who have challenging courses.

Similar to professors, high, middle and elementary school teachers are only allotted so much time to teach certain things before they must move on with other lessons. With so few “snow days” programmed into their schedules, teachers and students fall behind. The accumulation of snow and ice only complicates these struggles as days go by.

Certain laws should be put into place if schools or businesses plan on opening during hazardous conditions. These laws should prevent businesses from opening without proper snow clearance in their parking lots and sidewalks. Businesses should also warn of the dangers of slipping on ice and give proper guidance for people driving through rough parking lots. Additionally, back roads should be plowed to help those who are stuck or stranded get to their destinations safely.

Parking lots that are iced over and vehicles that are stuck or have slid off the road can be taken care of with earlier prevention plans. These plans include salting all roads before the snow falls — not just main roads — sending shovel trucks out on patrols throughout the snow storm and having designated scrapers come to schools and businesses as soon as possible to clear parking lots and sidewalks. All these things can help prevent ice accumulation that occurs over time and allow these places to operate safely and smoothly.

In addition to these early prevention exercises, Clarksville residents need to know basic safety procedures that could help when in a sticky situation. Weather forecasters and police officers tell the public to stay somewhere safe and not drive unless it’s absolutely necessary. If you must drive in any hazardous weather conditions, go slowly, put on your caution lights and be alert.

There are several websites that can help teach proper driving techniques for snow and ice. Exchange.aaa.com gives great advice, such as: Always look and steer in the direction you want to go and keep your tank at least half full to prevent your gas lines from freezing up.

Driving in rough weather conditions is scary, but know that city transportation departments are aware and there to help.

The Tennessee Department of Transportation website lists safety tips, roadside assistance and emergency numbers for any type of accident that occurs in any weather. T-DOT can also connect you with officers in your area in case of a minor emergency, though 911 is still recommended. Just remember to take all precautions and drive safely.