The holiday season is upon us, and we will soon bring another year to a close. The recent arrival of snow and ice provides new obstacles to driving, and I want to make sure that you are well equipped to handle these dangerous conditions. Here are some quick, easy tips to keep in mind while driving during the winter season.

Most of the safety tips are common-sense, but it never hurts to be reminded.

Avoid using a cell phone while driving, including texting, calling, and surfing the internet. Distracted driving is a major factor in many highway accidents.

When in doubt, slow down. Be cautious in wet and icy conditions.

Plan driving trips around weather conditions.

Keep your vehicle in good repair, and be prepared for unexpected emergencies.

The 98th Ohio House District is home to a large population of deer. Be ever mindful of the deer population, especially at dusk and dawn.

Be especially careful on bridges and overpasses, as these are most likely to freeze faster than other roads, even in temperatures slightly above freezing.

Be sure to leave additional space, about three times as much as you normally would, between your vehicle and the one in front of you.

We recently recognized an outstanding achievement by one of the schools in our community. New Philadelphia High School was awarded $100,000 from State Farm insurance company's Celebrate My Drive program for their outstanding effort to educate students on the dangers of distracted driving.

The theme of this year's program was "Two Eyes on the Road, Two Hands on the Wheel," highlighting the danger of distracted driving because of the internet. Hundreds of schools across the nation participated, and the top five schools were awarded a $100,000 prize. At least 10 percent of the check was required to be spent on further encouraging students, especially first year drivers, to avoid distractions while behind the wheel. The other 90 percent will be used to benefit the students, according to Principal Eric Jurkovic.

The school will most likely seek to improve technology in the school, add picnic tables outside for use during the warmer months, and give some money to the district's elementary schools. We are very proud of New Philadelphia High School's efforts to focus on driving safely, and encourage you to follow their example and focus on driving safely.

Rep. Landis may be reached by calling 614-466-8035, e-mailing; or writing to State Rep. Al Landis, 77 S. High St., Columbus, OH 43215.