Stay Safe Driving this Winter

By: Bridgette Gourley

     As winter comes around the corner, it is important to prepare for slippery roads and hazardous driving conditions. If you are a new driver, or this is your first time driving during the winter, The Squire would like to share some helpful tips on how to stay safe. The Squire interviewed Eisenhower’s Driver’s Ed. teacher, Mr. Logue, for suggestions on how to drive safely during terrible road conditions. It can be very dangerous out in the winter, especially if you aren’t prepared for the snow. Keep reading for some tips from Mr. Logue and The Squire.

      Every year when winter arrives, many students and even teachers are scared to drive on the snowy roads. The first step into making sure you are safe is getting your car’s tires changed. Your tires are the most important thing to take care of before driving on cold and slippery roads.  Even if you have all season tires, they succumb to the low temperatures, which can cause the tires to harden and lose a significant amount of grip. Without good tires, you won’t have good traction in deep snow and icy roads. Always be respectful and drive slower depending on how bad the road conditions are. Following a car too closely can also be very dangerous because you never know if you’ll be able to completely stop if roads are icy.

     You can never be fully prepared for winter, but there are some things that can come in handy if you ever break down or have an accident. You want to make sure you keep a bundle of cold-weather gear in your car. Resources such as extra food and water, warm clothing, a flashlight, blankets, and any other cold weather items would be helpful. Its very important to always keep at least half a tank of fuel in your vehicle so it will allow you to keep it running for warmth. Mr. Logue was asked about what to keep in mind when driving in cold conditions, and he shared, “Many people say that it is fun to drive in the snow, however, you need to be aware of what is under that snow- ice, slush, wet leaves. These things make for unsafe conditions so be aware of them.”

     There are a lot of newer and younger drivers every year. If you are one of them, Eisenhower’s Driver’s Ed. teacher, Mr. Logue shared some good advice for you. He said, “Experience is the best teacher, so the only way to learn how to drive in the snow, is to go out and drive in the snow. However, take precautions like slowing down to a safe speed for the conditions, take extra precautions for other drivers, and remain calm. Make sure your windows and lights are always clear of snow before you start driving.” A lot of younger drivers are inexperienced, so it’s always a good idea to take an older adult if you are worried and the roads are bad. The most common reason for accidents in the winter is traveling too fast for conditions, thus making you unable to stop on time or being unable to control the car, explained Logue.

     Driving in the snow can be very scary at times. The most helpful hint is to SLOW DOWN, leave earlier, and do not rush. Take your time because at any moment you could lose control.  The Squire hopes you stay safe while driving this winter.

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